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"The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

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"The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

Old 09-22-15, 11:40 PM
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"The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11





The Last House on the Left (1972)



Selected by Bladz



IMDB ENTRY

ON YOUTUBE

ALYXSTARR LINK

ALYXSTARR LINK WITH COMMENTARY

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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
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2015 DISCUSSION | 2015 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 10-01-15 at 08:28 PM.
Old 10-11-15, 09:31 AM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

I hate this movie. I watched anyways to see if my feelings had changed over the years. But I still hate it. I'm not a fan of the rapesploitation genre. And the bad acting, awful music, and strange cornball humor just make it worse.
Old 10-11-15, 10:24 AM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
I hate this movie. I watched anyways to see if my feelings had changed over the years. But I still hate it. I'm not a fan of the rapesploitation genre. And the bad acting, awful music, and strange cornball humor just make it worse.
Agreed. I watched it with commentary and there were some interesting historical tidbits in there, but the film is absolute crap.
Old 10-11-15, 11:01 AM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

I also am not a fan of Last House on the Left. I don't dislike the rape/revenge subgenre by default, they sometimes produce interesting films with more social commentary than one would expect if you look past the immediate schlock (see for example I Spit On Your Grave and Joe Bob Briggs' excellent commentary). Ultimately I agree Last House falls flat, it doesn't seem that ironic or interesting that the parents are more extreme than the killers/rapists when pushed (not much of a twist). I'm not sure if LHotL is an 'official' remake of Virgin Springs or not but the religious subtext from Virgin (looking at clashing cultures, religious values) might make this plot more impactful/interesting. Some of the commentary at the start about the "peace generation" getting into a band called Bloodlust set up this debate about cultural taboos surrounding violence that comes home in the finale. The scene where the mother is performing oral sex on the killer and savagely bits off his member highlights the extremes at play here and is one of the more effective segments (also the puzzled cops discovering the blood covered family at the end is good).

The cop "comedy" tangent could have been done without; it seemed odd to have the cops hamming it up immediately after the more extreme rape killing. It feels like Wes Craven is sort of reneging on pushing the envelope in a way that is not "funny" or dramatic but just puzzling.

The Willow son character was unreasonably too fragile and distracting; I think if that's a carry over from Virgin about a religious conversion that makes sense but it's lost here.

The musical cues were effective, if dated, I don't think I've heard a more musical film yet this challenge.
Old 10-11-15, 01:13 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

Agreed with the above. I rewatched this today just to see if I felt differently about it. I think the rape/revenge subject can be done well, but not when the victims are arguably the least intriguing characters in the movie. And the music cues are unnecessary at best, and cornball too much of the time.

It's interesting that Craven became a filmmaker who put a lot of humanity into his films, because there's no evidence that would be the case here.
Old 10-11-15, 02:57 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

I have always liked LHOTL. Always found it to be entertaining of course like most sploitation films I expect it to be exaggerated, low budget, not very well directed or produced. But I have a facination for films in the genre. LHOTH, Ms. 45, House on the Edge of the Park, I Spit on Your Grave, etc. I feel David Hess wasn't that talented as an actor, but he always got my attention when he played the role of a sociopath. I do have the dvd, but couldn't find it so I could watch the extras this time around.

Last edited by 3onameathook; 10-11-15 at 03:02 PM.
Old 10-11-15, 06:32 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

I agree with the first four posts that this is not a good movie. This started out bad when Netflix sent me the wrong version. Fortunately Alyxstarr came through for me but the quality wasn't nearly as good as some others, which is just fine with me because the movie is so bad. I figure this will be my least favorite view of the month even though I love Wes Craven. In fact, I plan on watching Cursed later tonight to help wash the taste out of my mouth.
Old 10-12-15, 01:34 AM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

While I don't hate Last House, I'm not terribly fond of it, either. I do appreciate it for what it is, however, and that's a very powerful film about how utterly base humans can be to each other. Even if you don't like it, you have to give it credit for having one of the best advertising slogans of all time: "To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...only a movie...only a movie....'"
Old 10-12-15, 10:56 AM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

Originally Posted by Trevor
Agreed. I watched it with commentary and there were some interesting historical tidbits in there, but the film is absolute crap.
I gotta find the commentary. It would be an interesting idea.
Old 10-12-15, 01:12 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

This is the first film that gave me trouble sleeping so far this month, so it gets prop for that. I don't think anybody can be expected to say they enjoyed the film, but I found it to be quite effective. I liked that the villains were genuinely scary and sleazy without being cartoonish like Craven's later villains. There's a powerful moment after Mari is raped and the killers are all standing around looking at each other, looking kind of remorseful after the rush wares off. Like they found the whole event unsatisfying because she didn't fight back, and just had to kill her because she was a witness. I felt like that scene elevated the entire movie for me, and added some depth.

Of course the film isn't as good as Bergman's The Virgin Spring, but I got more out of it than I thought I would. I found it sufficiently provocative without being overly sadistic like the Saw/Hostel films. I also liked this a lot more than I Spit on Your Grave, which didn't elicit much from me, positive or negative.
Old 10-12-15, 09:44 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
I hate this movie. I watched anyways to see if my feelings had changed over the years. But I still hate it. I'm not a fan of the rapesploitation genre. And the bad acting, awful music, and strange cornball humor just make it worse.
Originally Posted by Trevor
Agreed. I watched it with commentary and there were some interesting historical tidbits in there, but the film is absolute crap.
I was concerned going in that my memory was playing tricks, because I recalled seeing it before and not being bothered much by the acting or humour.

And.. it was the same this year. Maybe it was watching it so soon after an actually-terrible display of acting in most of Girl's Night Out (dodgy anthology on Prime), but most of this seemed a step above "bad" into "average," which pseudo-mathematically is above average for a lot of horror films(!), so that seemed OK. The plot was distressing, but mostly because it seemed more 'real' than many films this month - because it COULD be. And the mundaneity of the (ultra)violence is that much more terrifying for being plausible.

Similarly, while I see the criticisms that the bumbling-police humour was off-putting or misjudged, I found it to be both an unsettling counterpoint to the violence-as-banal, a quick break of levity before the relentlessness of the cruelty returned and also (stereotypical-but) plausible: they run out of gas; teenagers won't give the 'pigs' a lift; they don't command enough respect to convince the chicken-seller to turf out some chickens, etc.

(I was also struck by the thought that it's also been so overtaken in many respects that it seems more quaint than disturbing in large part.)
Old 10-12-15, 09:56 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe
There's a powerful moment after Mari is raped and the killers are all standing around looking at each other, looking kind of remorseful after the rush wares off. Like they found the whole event unsatisfying because she didn't fight back, and just had to kill her because she was a witness. I felt like that scene elevated the entire movie for me, and added some depth..
I agree - and I thought there were several little moments that added together make the whole stronger: the 'wrong side of the tracks' friend sacrificing herself for her friend at least twice; the confusion and reluctance of the son at several points; the dream sequence revealing a lot about the villain; the firm implication that he knows she overheard... but still feels so superior he lets her tie him up, etc. On their own, they may actually seem like poor writing - together, they seem powerful.
Old 10-16-15, 03:00 AM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

So listened to the commentary that is put up, those actors are ANNOYING! I guess Fred had every woman that ever worked on the film. And the way they trash people, ugh. Wish the Craven track was on this. I only decided to do the commentary because I've seen this quite a few times. I do believe, to me at least, that the remake is better and more enjoyable.
Old 10-21-15, 06:00 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

I actually rented this from Netflix but after starting it several days ago, I figured I just needed to have it in my collection. I don't really like the film and never really have but the BD is loaded to the gills with interesting extras and it really is an important film to have for any exploitation/horror film fan.

It's just such a strange film. The music is weird, the keystone cops, everyone's huge varying reactions throughout the film. As someone else said above, I don't like it but I appreciate it.
Old 10-21-15, 09:21 PM
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Re: "The Last House on the Left" Reviews/Discussion - 2015 Horror Challenge: Day 11

I think this is one of Craven's worst films. This is a film that probably did seem unusual and different coming out in 1972, but it has mostly hung around because Craven became of the most successful horror directors of all time afterwards. I doubt it gets much play if a random director had been at the helm.

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