VIDEO: The trailer for The Last House on the Left (2009)
Critics and audiences reviled Wes Craven's 1972 original, as did Craven himself. But its raw power gave it an enduring, endearing legacy. Craven and former helpmate Sean Cunningham produce the prettily shot, wrongheaded remake; Dennis Iliadis directs.
The plot's a recognizable retread: escaped con Krug (Deadwood's Garret Dillahunt) and friends kidnap and brutalize two teenage girls before meeting retribution at the hands, and appliances, of one girl's parents. The cast is competent, especially Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and Spencer Treat Clark.
What's missing are the subversive, shocking conceits of the original: spilled intestines, castration, forced lesbian lovemaking, urination, heroin, chainsaws. Instead there's choreographed torture and gore we've seen a thousand times before. Craven's original vision of brutality and redemption changed horror cinema forever. This time around, it's only a movie.