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The Last House on the Left review

Updated on June 20, 2020

The Last House on the Left (2009) review

This film is about as good as it gets in the horror genre. This movie was almost perfect in many ways. The acting was great and the story was well paced and nail biting from beginning to end. This is one of those rare occasions where a horror film can be a full two hours because the story made it necessary. The gore in this movie was disgusting and cringe worthy, which made the film that much better. It wasn’t a perfect movie by any means, but it was very close. This is one of the best horror movies I have seen in a long time.


The Last House on the Left (2009) is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. It was directed by Denis Iliadis and written by Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth, and stars Sara Paxton, Monica Potter, Tony Goldwyn, Garret Dillahunt and Aaron Paul. Mari Collingwood (Paxton) is on vacation with her parents at their lake house. When they arrive, Mari decides to leave for the night and hang out with a friend. She and her friend meet a kid who offers them some pot, and while they are out they meet a group of criminals who kidnap them. Mari is brutally raped and left for dead, while the group of criminals get stranded in the woods and eventually find Mari’s lakehouse. Mari’s father (Goldwyn) and mother (Potter) take them in for the night without knowing what they have done to their daughter. When Mari makes it back to the lakehouse it becomes clear to her parents that this group is responsible. What will they do in response to their savage acts?


The original 1972 film was written and directed by Wes Craven, and he was a producer on this remake along with Sean S. Cunningham. These two are masters of the horror genre and this is an example of what these amazing film makers can do when they team up. This movie was hard to watch at times, for all the right reasons. Right from the car crash two minutes into the film, it grabs you and doesn't let go. I felt like a kid again at one point, because I actually got up and moved closer to the TV, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. Like I said before, this movie was almost perfect. My only small issue with it is that I found it a little predictable at times, and towards the end they kind of dragged out the final sequence just a little, but overall this was a great horror film from start to finish. The acting trophy in my opinion goes to Monica Potter. There was a scene where her emotions were running really high and she had to put on a straight face, and she handled the scene brilliantly. I was very impressed with her acting.


I would recommend this to any horror fan, and if you like Wes Craven and don’t mind a lot of gore, this is a definite must see.


Film trivia

  • This film had a budget of 15 million dollars and the worldwide gross is 45.9 million dollars.
  • It was released on March 13, 2009 and was produced and distributed by Rogue Pictures.
  • This movie was filmed in South Africa.
  • Bruises are visible on both Paige and Mari's legs during the scenes in the hotel room. According to interviews, the bruises were a result of filming the scenes in the forest, which were filmed before the hotel room scene. The makeup crew tried to cover up the bruises, but since the actors did their own stunts, the marks were too severe to be covered up by makeup.
  • Over the course of a year, the studio considered at least 100 directors for the film before finally settling on Dennis Iliadis, after being impressed by his 2004 film Hardcore.
  • Co-producer Jonathan Craven appeared as a child in the original The Last House on the Left. He was the young boy with the balloon that Krug bursts as he walks past on the street.
  • Star Tony Goldwyn was at first reluctant about appearing in the film because of its violent content. Goldwyn changed his mind, however, after viewing director Dennis Iliad's earlier film Hardcore.
  • David Hess was offered a cameo but declined.
  • At first the film was going to be shot in Westport, Connecticut where the original 1972 film was shot, but the threat of hazardous weather forced the production to find another location.
  • The interiors and exteriors of the Collingwood house were built all on the same location to avoid having to relocate the production to a soundstage.

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