30 October 2014

The Last House on the Left (1972)
81 min.
Directed by Wes Craven.
With David Hess, Lucy Grantham, Sandra Cassel, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler.
A gritty, disturbing semi-remake of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960), this influential early shocker from Wes Craven is certainly not without its merits.

Two young women are abducted by a group of sadistic thugs, and then subjected to unbelievable torture before being killed.

By chance, the heinous killers end up at the house of one of the girls. When the parents realize what has happened - and who their guests really are - they exact their own revenge.

Great story, while Wes Craven shows early promise in a genre in which he would ultimately succeed.

Exploitation-friendly Hess (1977's Hitch Hike and 1980's The House on the Edge of the Park) is dead on.

Is Last House hampered by its low budget and amateurish acting? Exactly the opposite. They lend the effort just the right amount of grindhouse atmospherics and dank drive-in mood.

A warning: Last House on the Left is so grim, you may feel like taking a shower afterward.

Also known by the fitting title Grim Company.

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