The Last House on the Left (2009)

(On Cable TV, September 2017) I have no fondness whatsoever for the home-invasion subgenre, in which randomly self-proclaimed psychopaths invade a house of innocent people and proceed to at least try to slaughter nearly everyone. The family often fights back, but there’s no telling how complete the body count will go. The Last House on the Left is one of those low-imagination, high-gore horror movies that really don’t bring anything new to the table … even considering that this is a remake. Seemingly trying everything possible in order to be repellent to viewers, it also hinges on an extended rape sequence, irremediable villains and a last shot that ramps up the gore to ludicrous levels just in order to be able to please the gorehounds in the audience. In-between, there’s not a lot to say: If there’s an intellectual subtext to, say, seeing good people answer violence by violence, then it’s nearly undetectable underneath the lavish attention spent on the horrors of the surface. It’s almost interesting to see actors with mild-mannered personas such as Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter turn homicidal as threatened parents, but really the movie itself isn’t special. The Last House on the Left certainly doesn’t manage to break out of its genre strictures to appeal to audiences who don’t like the essential premise of that sub-genre.

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