Fully capturing the fear of the known, director Dennis Iliadis and his stellar cast have effectively brought to life one of the genre's most prized original masterpieces, The Last House on the Left. Star Sara Paxton successfully breaks free of the shadows, creating a relatable and innocent victim out of Mari. Her emotions and plea for help not only generate animosity amongst those on the screen, but create an uneasy tension with viewers who impatiently sit on the edge of their theater seat.
The film, which is a re-imagination of the 1972 Wes Craven classic, follows two girls who are kidnapped by a trio of prison escapees and left for dead in the lake by their home. But as fate would have it, the former prisoners have no mode of transportation, and in search of protection from the powerful thunderstorm, they incidentally choose the home of their latest victim. Now, as information begins to surface, Mari's parents must fend off their daughter's murders, for if they don't, they too will be terminated.
Refusing to hide the gore and intensity, the film dares to go there, and beyond. A rape scene, a gunshot to the back and the exploding of a guy's head leaves little to the imagination. While many will find the gore and mature elements repulsive and unneeded, to the genre's most devoted followers, it will be a highly accepted divergence from the soft PG-13 rated films that have flooded theaters as of late.
But the hard-R material wasn't the only thing that the film had going for it as the cast also brought a lot to the table. Starring the likes of Monica Potter (Saw), Tony Goldwyn ('Law & Order: Criminal Intent') and Martha Maclsaac (Superbad), the film features a heavy does of supporting talent, all of which made the story come full circle in terms of talent and content.
And it is a good thing as the conclusion of the film is easily foreseeable. With most of the final verdict being shown in the film's trailer, there was little to use in the form of surprises. However, what makes this picture so entertaining is its clever direction and intensity. Thrown together, it generates a high octane thrill ride that will have you anxious and ready for hours after leaving the theater. But be warned, this film is a rough and daring thriller; one that will be appreciated and respected by only the genre's most faithful followers.