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Sara Paxton
as Mari Collingwood

Monica Potter
as Emma Collingwood

Tony Goldwyn
as John Collingwood

Garret Dillahunt
as Krug

Aaron Paul
as Francis

Spencer Treat Clark
as Justin

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Netflix, Inc.

Written by Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth

Directed by Dennis Iliadis

Running Time: 1:50

Rated R
for sadistic brutal violence
including a rape and disturbing images,
language, nudity and some drug use.



The Last House on the Left was a vile and disgusting film that I can not possibly recommend you to see.


Mari and her family are heading to their house on the lake for some quiet time together. At the same time, a convict is broken out of police custody by his cohorts and are in hiding. Mari decides to head to the local convenience store to visit her friend Paige and there they meet a nice young boy who has some pot for them. They head back to his hotel room when the convicts enter. They are lead by Krug, who happens to be the boy's father. Mari and Paige are trapped, knowing that Krug is going to kill them out of fear they'll tell the police. Mari manages to escape but is shot in the water as she swims away. A storm hits, and Krug and his crew take refuge at the only house nearby, the one that is owned my Mari's parents. As Krug and company settle in to the guest house for the night, Mari appears on the doorstep, near death. When her parents realize who was responsible, they decide to take matters into their own hands, and viciously hunt down Krug and his gang.


There is one, and only one reason why I did not like The Last House on the Left and that was for a brutal and unnecessary rape sequence midway through the film. Up until then, and everything that took place afterwards, I was fine with. But to me, other than for one purpose, there is never a reason to have a rape sequence in a movie and this one was horrible to watch. It's been nearly a week since I saw the movie and I still can't get the screams out of my head. I'm sure in the mind of the filmmakers, the scene was important and they had their reasons, but I don't think it was the least bit necessary.

Reason number one was probably that they needed to show that Krug was the lowest of the low, that he was a heartless, soulless creature so that when he gets what's coming to him, the audience cheers just that much more. I think they got that point across using other moments in the movie. The first time we see him, he strangles a cop with a seatbelt, while showing him a picture of his kids. Later in the movie, he stabs Paige in the stomach twice without even pausing to think about it. I already know Krug is a bad man, I don't need to see him rape a 17 year old girl to get that point across.

Reason number two was likely that was the moment where Krug's son Justin finally turns against him. I think Justin had turned against his father a long time ago. It looked like Justin had feelings for Mari, especially after Mari told him about her brother dying a year earlier. If you cut out the rape scene and simply go from Paige dying to Mari escaping and being shot in the water, I think that would have been more than enough for Justin to finally snap. Look, I'm sure there are plenty of reasons the filmmakers kept that scene in the movie (along with the fact that it was in the original, a movie I've never seen and never will) but it was unnecessary. If you take a movie like The Accused or Boys Don't Cry the rape scenes were equally as disturbing but they were real life events that changed the course of the victim's life. They weren't shown simply to show how vile someone was. In this movie there was simply no reason to have a scene as horrifying as that. During the screening I went to, two people got up and left the theater during the scene. And for me, I couldn't really pay attention to the rest of the movie after that. Nothing else really mattered. The whole scene, which lasts 2-3 minutes, was so brutal and disturbing that I stopped caring about what happened the rest of the movie, and I think the audience I saw it with felt the same way. When was the last time a New York City audience was silent during a movie? No one uttered a word the rest of the film. At least until Krug's head exploded.

I know there will likely be some of you who go back to my other reviews for horror films and point out that I enjoyed films like Hostel or Saw which involve sadistic violence against both men and women. But to me, rape goes beyond other kinds of physical violence and personally there is no reason, other than the one mentioned above, why it should ever be shown on film. It is completely pointless in a movie like this.


So overall, I can not and will not recommend anyone go see The Last House on the Left.

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reviewed 03/15/09

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