The Last House on the Left | Chicago Reader

The Last House on the Left

Wes Craven's low-budget shocker The Last House on the Left (1972) was notorious for its physical and psychological brutality, though its apologists have praised its sharp-edged story, in which victims of a horrible crime take horrible revenge on the perpetrators. Craven, who produced this remake (his second recycling of his 70s ouevre, after The Hills Have Eyes in 2006), has called the tale “an evergreen,” a statement as depressing as it is true. The remake is plenty scary, though any moral inquiry into the cost of revenge seemed to fly over the heads of the screaming, laughing crowd I saw it with; what registers now is the simple cruelty of fate, as unlucky coincidences lead to the direst of consequences. Dennis Iliadis directed; with Tony Goldwyn, Sara Paxton, and Garret Dillahunt. R, 100 min.

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