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FutureNightmarecreator andScreamweaver Wes Craven's film debut is a primitive little production that rises above its cut-rate production values and hazy, grainy patina via its grimly affecting portrait of human evil infiltrating a middle-class household. The story is adapted from Ingmar Bergman'sThe Virgin Spring, but the film has more in common with Sam Peckinpah'sStraw Dogsas it charts the descent of a harmless married couple into methodical killers. A quartet of criminals--a distorted version of the nuclear family--kidnaps a pair of teenage girls and proceeds to ravage, rape, torture, and finally brutally murder them in the woods, unwittingly within walking distance of their rural home. The killers take refuge in the girls' own home, but when the parents discover just who they are and what they've done, they plot violent retribution.

Along with George Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Craven helped redefine American horror with this debut--all three movies portray modern society crumbling into madness and horror. But, unlike his fellow directors, Craven gives his film an uncomfortable verisimilitude, setting it squarely in the heartland of modern America. While at times it's awkward and inconsistent, with distracting comic interludes, his handling of the brutal horror scenes is unsettling, and the death of the daughter is an unexpectedly quiet and lyrical moment. --Sean Axmaker

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CastDavid Hess, Lucy Grantham, Jeramie Rain, Sandra Peabody, Fred J. Lincoln
DirectorWes Craven
Screen WriterWes Craven, Ulla Isaksson
DVD Release Date:  August 27, 2002
Runtime:  84 minutes
Studio:  MGM (Video & DVD)
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More The Last House on the Left (19... reviews
review by . April 30, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
    It is a loose remake of Ingmar Bergman's THE VIRGIN SPRING (1960), but few people would watch Wes Craven's THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) expecting profound philosophical contemplation or evocative symbolism. The movie is about bloody revenge being taken after horrible violence and so its appeal is in its lurid subject matter and the chills and catharsis it promises.     And yet, one does not remake a Bergman film without signalling that one intends …
review by . January 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     It's never really clarified what time period "The Last House on the Left" takes place in, although I have somewhat of an idea. I of course say what I'm about to say in a joking matter, but please bear with me. I believe that "The Last House on the Left" was made when writer and director Wes Craven was still ripe and coincidentally, still talented. The original "Last House on the Left" was Craven's first feature, and I've got to admit that it's a damn good …
review by . October 28, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I've heard a lot about this movie through my friendly pack and have the Nightmare on Elm Street collection on DVD which Wes talks about this movie, how it was one of his first and a great learning experience. After I watched this film I`ve notice not only is this film categorize in the wrong genre but the disc jacket doesn't even fit the films profile. So tell me where in the world was that house in the story and why did they have to place a ghost on the corner of the picture.     I …
review by . April 04, 2005
posted in Cult Cinema
I think this film has at its essence the true spirit of the horror film. To me this film is not entertaining, and it is one of only a handful of films that truly disturbed me, one that follows through on it's intent to horrify. Most modern horror films tend to glamorize violence and gore, and tend to herald killers as anti-heroes to a point where the audience is no longer horrified or scared. What I found interesting is where this film sits on the timeline of horror, right after Night of the Living …
The Last House on the Left (1972)
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