Last house on the left (1972)


Title-Last house on the left

Year- 1972

Director- Wes Craven

Starring- Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham  David Hess

Tagline- To avoid fainting, keep repeating: It’s only a movie, It’s only a movie.

Welcome to another review, today we are going for a “flashback sunday”. One way or another, you would of heard about this movie, good or bad, whatever. I have no doubt in my mind that some people are going to hate my opinions on this one, BUT that’s exactly what they are, opinions. So time to delve in.

Plot- Mary and phyllis are two teenage girls carefree and on their way to see a concert together. Once in the city, they head to try and score some pot. This leads them to cross paths with Krug, Fred, Sadie and Junior. A couple of escaped convicts, a son and a girlfriend. Things turn sour and the girls are kidnapped, tortured and brutalized. As the film heads towards the climax, one of the girls parents discover what has happened and decide to exact revenge on the gang in their own brutal way.

Now, I will start with this. I do not like this movie. Shock, horror, gasp, BLASPHEMY!! I am now positive that some of you will swear, call me an un-educated fool and close the page. That is fine as I know that this is one of those movies that is either loved or hated.  Now do not get me wrong, I appreciate what this movie did and I especially appreciate the year in which it was done. I could only imagine peoples’ reactions upon seeing this for the first time in 1972. I’m not quite sure what it is, maybe the music, maybe some of the acting or maybe it’s just the whole vibe I get from the movie. After all, we can’t love everything we see.

The movies early beginnings show us the protagonist family interacting. This is a weird scene as some parts of their conversations come off as good and natural, then there are parts that just make me cringe and close my eyes. From there, I cotinue to lose interest more and more. Here we get to see glimpses of below par acting. 

After watching the girls hang out, eat ice cream and wander around, we are introduced to our bad guys. They are mean, feral, cruel and heartless. They are everything you would want in the baddies and I’ll admit that they are extremely nasty people. Throughout the film you will grow to despise these pricks, but once again I just can’t quite get to that little bit of my seat called “the edge” which lets me know that I am now lost in this flick. At the same time I can see how some people would be. WHAT IS HAPPENING? I should love everything about this movie but I don’t.

Lets continue 🙂

It seems that after every disturbing and sickening scene, we are watered down and reassured with music that could be lifted right off the cutting room floor of “The sound of music” or any given Hollywood heyday classic. Now, I have heard all the reasoning for the soundtrack. Some say that it’s meant to be ironic, some say it is suppose to show the contrasts of the two worlds that have been brought together, but to me it just sounds completely out of place and eventually it gets too distracting and I can not take this movie seriously.

The violence that you will find in this movie I admit is full on and confronting. Like I mentioned earlier, the time era in which it was made would shock and offend many viewers. Unfortunatley, we do live in a world now where most people are desensitised to anything shocking and it is getting harder and harder for movies to give us something new. Maybe I just seen this movie too late and didn’t experience it at the right time. Maybe that is true but, I can’t go back in time so my opinion cannot change 🙂 I am not a person that only loves the new stuff, as a matter of fact most new stuff is garbage. Give me the 80’s and 90’s ANYDAY! After about 40 minutes or so I am compltely starting to fade, yes we get the point OK!

The final 20 minutes or so of the movie is probably the best, as it turns into a revenge piece after the young girls parents realise their daughter has, well, you know been offed and they have a chance to inflict a little bit of street justice themselves. The pace and tension here is ok and nearly starts to get you back in, but it’s just too little too late. I would have liked to of seen the revenge longer, slower, more violent to really give these scumbags what they deserve. Does that make me evil, bad, mean? Probably, but fuck it I want to see it all! Muahahaha

I find it funny that this movie is so looked up to in the horror community as the 70’s were a great time with a lot of amazing movies that could probably top this movie.(Not that i was there to experience first hand) I just find the whole thing bland and dull with a few shining moments. The lead bad guy we are given is probably the best thing this movie offers. He is menacing, demented, mean spirited and just does not give a damn. I really feel that the role he is playing really isn’t too far off what he is really like. I am sure thats not true, but how natural he acted and came across throughout the movie tells me otherwise and don’t get me wrong that’s awesome. One of the harder scenes to watch is a particuarly disturbing one involving one of the girls and making her do things that no one should. This one was done well and made me feel something, BUT is followed up poorly.

I am expecting that not many people are going to agree with me and that is quite alright. How boring would the genre be if we all just wanted the same thing right? I just can not give this movie anything higher than a 4 out of 10. Maybe over time and a few more views, it might go up. I have heard people say that once they had kids, this movie just had so much more impact on them and I can certainly see how that could happen. B’y all means if you haven’t yet, check this movie out, purely for its significance in the horror genre and to see what all the fuss is about but if you want a good movie thats put together perfectly, find something else. (you find one, i am not doing all the work for you)

Sorry i didn’t go into too much detail, but this movie is 40 years old and I think most people would have seen it or know the premise by now.

So final score 4 out of 10 and a NOT recommend. I was not going to mention the remake (ahhh bad word bad word) BUT I think it is done amazingly. It is one of the few remakes that I would fully recommend.


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