The Last House on the Left (2009)

5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Better acting than the original

Loses original's shock and power, less gritty

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Last House on the Left

Studio:  Midnight Entertainment

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  March 13, 2009

MPAA Rating:  R


We just abducted, raped, and shot your daughter…can we get a room?

Emma (Monica Potter), John (Tony Goldwyn), and their daughter Mari (Sara Paxton) are mourning their loss of their son and brother Ben.  When Mari and her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) score drugs from a boy named Justin (Spencer Treat Clark), they find themselves in the hands of his psychotic escaped criminal family Krug (Garrett Dillahunt), Francis (Aaron Paul), and Sadie (Riki Lindhome).  The convicts can’t have Mari or Paige talking and set out to silence them.  When Krug, Francis, Sadie,  and Justin end up at the home of Emma and John, revenge is fair turnabout…and revenge for hurting a parent’s child has no bounds.


A family that kills murdering rapists together says together

Directed by Dennis Iliadis, The Last House on the Left is a remake of Wes Craven’s first film from 1972.  The movie like the original was highly criticized for the violence against women, but also still received some praise for its modernization of the story.

The Last House on the Left was one of the roughest movies to watch.  Much like I Spit on Your Grave, the movie’s standout (and most criticized) moment was the rape and murder of the two girls.  Here, the movie featured a change in this area.


Making meth was much easier!

This movie takes a major change in the plot.  *****Spoiler Alert***** While the original was a ruthless revenge story, this version still paints revenge but also is a bit of catharsis for the characters.  The parents are in mourning for their lost son and threatened to lose their daughter to rape and murder.  Instead, Mari is allowed to live but the characters still enact revenge on her attackers.  I thought the shock of losing a second child would have been even better motivator for the hell unleashed on the attackers but the movie chose to not go this direction and the horror was less legitimized (but it also isn’t as rough as the original deaths).

The acting for the movie is improved, but the deterioration of the story doesn’t help the actors.  Sara Paxton is good as the attack survivor, and I also find Monica Potter strong as her mother who has a meatier role than her husband.  One of Mari’s attackers (who meets the most gruesome death with the garbage disposal) is Aaron Paul who of course when on to greater success on Breaking Bad.


Well, at least my family apparently doesn’t matter much…

The movie is sleeker looking than the first film, but the first film’s gritty look was one of the pluses of the horror film.  By cleaning up The Last House on the Left, it feels like a rather generic torture/porn style film without as much power.

The Last House on the Left was a film that probably never needed to be remade.  The movie isn’t horrible, but it also isn’t very distinctive.  I wish that the movie was more edgy and modernized, but by modernizing it, the makers were forced to soften it…which is ironic since it feels like a more violent and dirtier world.

[easyazon-block align=”center” asin=”B002DKGWSO” locale=”us”]

Related Links:

The Virgin Spring (1960)

The Last House on the Left (1972)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response