The Collegian
Saturday, July 04, 2020

Movie Review: The Last House on the Left

Grade: A -

Starring: Sarah Paxton, Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn, Garret Dillahunt, Riki Lindhome, Spencer Treat Clark, and Aaron Paul.

What happens?

After viciously assaulting two young girls, a gang unknowingly takes refuge in the house of the family of one of the girls. While there, her parents use the dark part of their imaginations to get revenge.

How good is it?,

Let's imagine for a moment that none of us have seen the 1972 original. Okay, now imagine what you would do if the people who hurt you walked onto your property and stayed there for the night. Some would turn the other cheek or cower in the corner. Others would have a little fun. We'll call it fun because although we're taught that violent, agonizing revenge isn't the answer, it can be when you're on the other side of the screen watching parents attack the people who raped and shot their daughter. You get to imagine what you would do in that situation without actually being there and, you know, worrying about what the pesky cops would think. Then you get to watch a proper, wealthy couple degenerate into a ruthless gang similar to the one they're attacking.

Even the little things that would normally annoy me seemed all the more appropriate. For example, the gang's leader is named Krug--yes, Krug--and his girlfriend is the one who encourages him to rape the daughter. Her name is Sadie, which I think is short for sadistic. The daughter's name is Mari (like Mary) and that is particularly relevant. Watch it to find out why. The emotions, the fear, and the attacks are so realistic that some audience members left the theater during certain parts whispering to their friends, "I can't watch this." I will just cautious that this isn't a film for the faint of heart, victims of sexual assault (unless you close your eyes for a few minutes in the beginning), or those who have sexually assaulted someone (unless you're masochistic).

What's wrong with it?

There are two major problems with this movie and the first may be a matter of personal taste. First, the rape scene is WAY TOO LONG, by at least two minutes. Those two excessive minutes are very hard to watch. The filmmakers were not willing to take a less visually abrasive path and fade off. Instead, they let you see everything and boost your anger accordingly. Second, all of this mess begins because the youngest member of the gang brings the daughter and her friend back to a hotel room he shares with his sadistic family and he know that they are already hiding from the law for murder. Then he acts surprised and guilty when the gang comes home and doesn't take too kindly to the strangers.

Contact staff writer Jordan Trippeer at jordan.trippeer@richmond.edu

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