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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 13.21%
Just Average: 11.32%
Pretty Crappy: 20.75%
Sucks: 13.21%

2 reviews, 41 user ratings

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Last House on the Left, The (1972)
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by Kevin Thomas

"I hate it when the Conservatives have a point...."
2 stars

Although it should have been called ‘Only House in a Twenty Mile Radius’, the incorrect title is easily the least disturbing thing about this movie. Well, other than the haircuts anyway, but this is 1972. I didn’t have a clue what to expect when I put this on, as all I knew was this it was an early work of Wes Craven and was meant to be extremely disturbing. Talk about an understatement…

As some pretty girls drive around, to celebrate one of their birthday’s, the radio warns of the obligatory escaped convicts. Taking no heed of such a tired plot cliché (well, who would?) the girls carry on with their fun. They then try and score some weed from a seemingly random guy. This random guy turns out to be an accomplice of the convicts, and soon the girls are locked in a rotten flat at the mercy of a bunch of heartless psychopaths.

It was roughly five minutes after we got to that part of the plot that a chilling realisation dawned on me. This wasn’t Scream, this wasn’t nice and this was banned for a reason. The sheer brutal nature of the following hour is enough to make a grown man wither. Watching the cold-eyed rape and murder and two young women (this is a version I rented from Blockbuster by the way, so I can only hope I never stumble across the version where the oh-so-obvious edits are left in tact) is incredibly hard to stomach. To say this makes for uncomfortable viewing is something of an understatement. I’m talking ‘watching La Bete with your parents’ uncomfortable here.

Most movies this violent normally have some kind of moral message hidden between the scarlet, so the lack of one here makes the never ending assault so much harder to take. It is possible that Craven was trying to get across the old classic that drugs are bad in his own special little way, but there are easier, more direct ways to do it. And you don’t need to threaten me with amateur chisel dentistry either. This is my biggest gripe with the film. What’s the point?

There’s no message, there’s nothing to mull over or think about, but it’s not a very entertaining ride either. If all you have is long and graphic scenes of violence, rape and murder, then there needs to be a point to it. Otherwise it’s just a gratuitous waste of time for 13 year olds to steal from their big brother’s DVD collection and pretend to enjoy. If that’s not your thing (and God knows why it would be) you might as well rent something else.

The grainy camerawork adds a very voyeuristic atmosphere to the whole affair; it often feels as though you are watching the story through the eyes of a never-seen perverted fifth accomplice, greedily filming the grisly events to satisfy his own sick needs. Clearly Craven didn’t think the events on their own were disturbing enough, even the act of seeing them twists the experience into something more sinister.

The acting is largely convincing on all fronts (bar from the odd personality traits of the parents in the latter half), but the inclusion of an oddly comic side-story about lost coppers really jars with the overtones of the rest of the film. I guess a little break from the torture every now and then couldn’t hurt though.

When the credits roll, you have to take stock of what you’ve just sat through; extreme violence, tortuous rape and lots of it, all for no apparent reason. If this sounds like your type of thing, then by all means rent away, but be under no illusions as to what to expect. It’s not nice, it’s not fun and it’s not worth it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3978&reviewer=368
originally posted: 08/24/04 21:42:46
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell TRASH 4 sick minds only 1 stars
3/30/15 stanley welles raw, gripping and powerful 4 stars
9/29/12 roscoe this movie sucks. Easily one of Craven's worst. 1 stars
4/30/12 Marty Uneven, unrealistic at points, even fails at being that disturbing. okay acting. 2 stars
1/13/10 art THE 2009 remake ERASED this HORRIBLE STORY! 1 stars
3/19/09 blah blah brutal and depraved awesome 5 stars
3/16/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess Some scences actually made me cry. Well done. 4 stars
12/05/07 Bnorm i was expecting a more shocking experience; shows what kinda world we live in huh 5 stars
6/14/07 Brandon Everyone here is a pussy. 5 stars
4/27/07 JonH What a sick. vile movie. This isn't horror this is Extreme SNUFF!!! Who watches this SHIT! 1 stars
1/06/07 Quicksilver Using chillingly grainy picture and disturbing scenes, sicko Craven has created pure crap 1 stars
11/02/06 David Pollastrini hot lesbo action. otherwise kind of dull 3 stars
10/22/06 WTF What the hell did i just watch? This is the most Disturbing masterpiece ever. 5 stars
10/08/06 William Goss Crass, dated, exploitative, but mildly improves with turning of tables. 2 stars
10/02/06 Sugarfoot Mean spirited, raw and really disturbing. 3 stars
7/29/06 Debbie Original for its time -- birthplace of cliches in slashers that have since been overused. 4 stars
2/13/06 Indrid Cold 95% atrocious, 5% brilliant, like all of Wes Craven's career. 2 stars
12/23/05 cody a nice gross suspense thriller , with good story and decent actors, little slow good ending 3 stars
11/19/05 Sam Justus a cult classic, brilliant! 5 stars
9/12/05 Total Crap After they disemboweled the girl, the movie has gone TOO FAR. Scary to Even own this. 5 stars
10/29/04 Sue Scared the life out of me. Wouldn't go in the woods for about 10 years. 3 stars
10/11/04 Eric A very powerful film 5 stars
9/22/04 Al Guy Disturbing. Maybe. It does make you feel a bit uncomfortable. 4 stars
8/25/04 JuJu Wretched! Hateful, horrible little film! 1 stars
6/11/04 DJ ERIC 88 creepy - and that song "road leads to nowhere" is so depressing! 5 stars
4/17/04 Father Merrin Not bad but its way over-hyped. Worth a look but not Wes's best by far. 3 stars
4/16/04 Michael Greenwaldt An excellent, disturbing horror classic! 5 stars
1/04/04 Janey Bizzare - Couldn't decide whether it wanted to be comedy or horror 4 stars
6/27/03 Jimmy Yearwood Drive-in freak must see.before Wes started making crap like Scream 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice It really disapointed me, heared a lot about it and it was not shocking at all... 2 stars
4/12/03 Zargo riveting stuff 5 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum Big deal 2 stars
7/10/02 .Choadushouse. The ending makes it all worthwhile. I've never loved old people so much! 5 stars
6/10/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi this was pretty brutal, but very very very cool 5 stars
5/21/02 Kyle Are you people fucking insane? Never have I seen such shit. 1 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk This movie is insane...I haven't seen anything quite like it. Wes's most brutal film 5 stars
6/07/01 Serial_Monk_the_Jawbreaker Intriguing plot but film is ruined because the U.S.: 80 m. video version is missing scenes. 4 stars
2/26/01 Mike tunesdj.com One of the best cult films ever made!! Follow-up with "I spit on your grave"!!! 5 stars
10/17/00 TiGgEr 13 COOL! 5 stars
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  02-Aug-1972 (R)



Directed by
  Wes Craven

Written by
  Wes Craven

  Sandra Cassel
  Lucy Grantham
  David Hess
  Fred J. Lincoln
  Jeramie Rain
  Marc Sheffler

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