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Last House on the Left Gets New Occupants

by
March 5, 2008
Source: Variety

Last House on the Left

Back in 1972, Wes Craven wrote and directed a particularly gruesome horror film called The Last House on the Left, which became notorious for two distinct reasons: 1) it pretty much started Craven's perennial career in horror, and 2) it encountered a variety of difficulties with censorship, including being banned by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 1974 for the violence it contained. In 2006, Rogue Pictures inked a deal to remake the film, and the following year we brought you news that Dennis Iliadis had signed on as director. Today, we learn that Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn have been cast as the parents of the brutally murdered teenage daughter, which prompts the two to exact an equally savage revenge on the gang of doers.

While the somewhat unknown Iliadis is set to direct, Craven will co-produce with production partners Marianne Maddelena and Sean Cunningham; the two have been involved in other Craven remakes, including The Hills Have Eyes and the upcoming Friday the 13th.

Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn seem like a pretty good fit for the role, given their fairly unassuming, wholesome disposition. Well, sort of. Goldwyn did play a serial killer in Kiss the Girls, and Potter a greedy back-stabber in Along Came a Spider. Nevertheless, they at least look good-natured, so the transformation into revenge-filled parents should still be startling and compelling.

The cornerstone of the original film is the inciting murder of the daughter, Mari, who was abducted with her friend, and then tortured and raped by a group of escaped convicts. Upon discovering this, of course, Mari's parents snap and eventually murder the kidnappers, thus allowing us to witness the complex, introspective spectacle of good people going bad. However, Jeremy Smith over at CHUD speculates that the writing team, most notably Adam Alleca, might actually nix the daughter's murder. It's hard to imagine such a movie without a shocking catalyst such as this. I hope this doesn't prove true.

Really, I don't see the point in this anyway. If The Hills Have Eyes is any barometer, then the original should come through with all its unsettling violence, but now in higher definition and Dolby sound.

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  • It sounds a little more promising with this casting information, also looking at the imdb page for it, they say LIV TYLER and SCOTT SPEEDMAN are on board so I think this might be an overall surprisingly decent or above remake.
  • Or is the LIV TYLER and SCOTT SPEEDMAN thing a goof-up because they are also starring in a horror movie together called "The Strangers" that looked good but whatever happened too it? Anyone know the answer to ANY of the questions?
  • Curtis
    haven't seen the original so doesn't bother me much, gives me a chance to watch it without watching the old one. Remakes usually suck tho..
  • Daniel
    The Strangers was supposed to come out last year, but was pushed to this year. It's coming out May 3oth.
  • Krug
    It's ridiculous to remake this film at all. The original is no classic, but its brutality is unparalleled, it was made in an era where you could get away with some really sick stuff, and they cannot hope to equal it in this day and age. This will be a huge waste of time. I say, if you're going to remake a film, particularly a horror film, either "re-imagine" it, a la Dawn of the Dead, or remake a horror film that was promising but failed to deliver.
  • I gotta agree with Krug. Wes Craven took the torture and the brutality with an unrelenting stare into human cruelty. He didn't back down until the various murderous acts were complete. There have been a few who tried to take it farther, all with disastrous results. Beyond a certain point there is no more story and the movie becomes an exercise in so-called "torture-porn" (a term I personally reject since too many apply the phrase to giallo films as well and there is a huge difference). There have been movies that are just as brutal (I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE), but go beyond that and a Horror audience comes out of their suspension of disbelief and remembers that they are just watching fake blood and rubber appliances. Another reason why scary movies excell with a cast of unknowns and usually flops with a cast of recognizable actors. Ruggero Deodato knew this when he made CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST back in the 1970s (released in the US in 1980), and felt he had to show real animals really being killed on camera to keep the audience riveted (and the scenes of a live pig being butchered and a monkey screaming in fear before having its face chopped off and its brain sucked out by a tribesman was more than I wanted to see). So if Rogue doesn't up the ante on the violence and horror (With All New CGI and Greenscreen! WHOOPIE!), then what is the point of the remake? And if they back down from the sadistic intensity that Craven brought to his film, then they are really remaking The Virgin Spring, so WTF?

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