The Last House on the Left

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      Starring Garret Dillahunt and Sara Paxton. Rated 18A. Opens Friday, March 13, at the Cinemark Tinseltown

      The most satisfying aspect of a revenge flick is that it ultimately acts as a cathartic outlet for our baser human instincts. We’ll put up with a lot of stomach-churning stuff if we think there’s a fair chance that the evildoers get toasted, diced, or fried for their sins. Nowhere is the big menu of retribution more evident than in The Last House on the Left, a slick—and often deeply unsettling—remake of the 1972 Wes Craven cult classic.

      Watch the trailer for The Last House on the Left.

      Directed by Dennis lliadis, with Craven returning as producer, The Last House on the Left centres on a gang of white-trash psycho killers on the run from the cops. The volatile Krug (Garret Dillahunt) holds court over his sadistic brother (Aaron Paul) and a slavishly devoted girlfriend (Riki Lindhome).

      The only reasonably normal person in the bunch is Krug’s son, Justin (Spencer Treat Clark). Thinking the others are going to be away from their motel hideout for the afternoon, Justin invites two teenaged girls to join him in smoking some dope. Paige (Martha Macisaac) is having a great time, but Mari (Sara Paxton) is a little concerned that she’s betraying the trust of her strait-laced parents (Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn).

      When Krug and the others return unexpectedly, all hell breaks loose. Paige is savagely murdered and Mari is brutally raped before being shot and left for dead. Events take an unexpected twist when a storm hits and the gang is forced to seek refuge in the home of Mari’s parents. The movie shifts into high gear when Mari’s parents must fight for their lives. The acting is pretty good here, but what can you really say about a movie so relentlessly intent on celebrating the idea that revenge is best served with a hammer through the skull?