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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - May, 2010

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"The Last House On The Left" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko

movie-may-2010-the-last-house

Synopsis

The Collingwood family heads out to their remote lake house for a much needed vacation.  Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton) quickly finds herself bored and heads into town to meet up with her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac).   In an effort to score some quality weed, the two girls foolishly follow a complete stranger named Justin (who of course they find cute) back to his hotel room.  While partaking in a bit of the aforementioned product, Justin’s “family” returns to the hotel room.    Justin’s father Krug (Garret Dillahunt) is a convict on the run, and decides that the girls can’t be allowed to tell the police about him.  Mari and Paige are taken out into the woods, where Paige is murdered and Mari is raped.  Mari manages to escape by swimming out into the lake, but is shot by Krug and left for dead.

With a monster storm approaching, the criminals seek shelter in the nearest home, which just so happens to be the Collingwood’s.  The wounded Mari manages to struggle back to her home, where her parents find her.  What follows is an interesting case where the criminals become the victims, as John and Emma Collingwood enact revenge on those who hurt their daughter.

 

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2009, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 50 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Sara Paxton, Martha MacIsaac, Garret Dillahunt, Tony Goldwyn, and Monica Potter
  • Directed by Dennis Iliadis
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Graphic Rape Scene, Nudity
  • Language: Bad

Commentary

I never saw the original 1971 version of this film and based upon this remake I have no desire to.  I will admit that I found the first 45 minutes of the movie to be pretty good, but the movie fell apart once the criminals enter the Collingwood house.  Early in the film, Krug and company’s violence is used to develop the characters, but it seems completely inappropriate for the Collingwoods.  The violence also goes from realistic to “slasher-movie grotesque” as the Collingwoods enact their revenge.  Adding insult to injury, the final scene is comical and completely unnecessary to the storyline.

Technical

The picture quality on this disc is merely average in my opinion.  The picture is fairly sharp, though there seemed to be a bit of a haze to things.   There are a lot of dark scenes, but I didn’t notice much detail in the shadows.   Colors aren’t artificially pumped up, but there was an odd color-cast to the overall look of things.  Audio was a bit disappointing for a thriller/horror flick.  The sound designers didn’t use the soundtrack to create any feeling of dread or foreboding.  There are no creepy sound effects or “make you jump” moments.   Dialogue is clear but there is little surround or LFE use.

Extras

Included on the disc are about 9 minutes of deleted scenes and a very brief (3 minutes) “look inside” featurette, both in standard definition. The disc is BD-Live and D-Box enabled.   A second disc contains a digital copy of the movie.