A redux I’m looking forward to is Rogue Pictures’ take on The Last House On The Left. I’m a huge fan of the original (isn’t everyone?) and aren’t miffed they’re giving it another go-around. Why? Because Last House itself was a retelling of Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring (1960) plus I think the almost stage-like format of a few characters in two segregated locations lends itself to multiple interpretations. I’m glad they didn’t go with a David Hess look-a-like which would have been bad move numero uno. Instead they have Krug being played by Garret Dillahunt (left) – who I’ve grown to be a fan of for his kicking all kinds of arse over on the Terminator TV Series. Bring it.
Many months ago, a few goodies appeared on the web – a spoiler-filled review of a test screening, and elsewhere the first publicity photo. A while back I discovered that the two sites that hosted each exclusive goody had mysteriously hit the delete button – in both cases. Probably due to the usual PR team aiming to completely control the flow of information on such a free and open medium as the internet. Blah blah blah. Anyway, we’ll see if the coffee has cooled because I’m reprinting the review below (there may have been several changes made since), as well as the photo (original website’s watermark cropped out for their own protection!). If this post disappears, you know why (send cops & chickens!).
By Kent Church
I wasn’t really a fan of the original Wes Craven shocker. It’s got its supporters, who call it daring and brave, but to me it was just a cheap exploitation flick.
It also left me feeling nauseous and exhausted. I’m sure that was Mr. Craven’s intention, but either way, it wasn’t much fun.
I’m happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed this 97 page draft of the remake by Adam Alleca, Mark Haslett and Carl Ellsworth.
It opens with the cops transporting a mysterious dark figure along a deserted stretch of country road. We learn the killer in chains is Krug – the meanest muther to ever walk the earth.
The cops joke and laugh until the transport is hit by a car. Before the boys in blue can respond, Krug’s gal Sadie and his brother Francis cut the cops to pieces with pistols. Within the first ten pages Krug is free and at large.
We then cut to Mari Collingwood, a gentle, innocent teenager who’s a kick ass swimmer. Later we’re introduced to her mom, Emma, and her dad, Doctor John Collingwood. They’re a nice, down to earth family who are still reeling form their loss of their son/brother.
With summer approaching, the Collingwood’s decide to take a break at their country home, which John describes as “the last house on the left”.
Once they’ve arrived Mari heads into town to visit her old friend, Paige, a hellcat who works at the local ice creamery. The two scope out a lonely teen walking the street. Over ice cream, he tells them his name’s Justin and that he’s got weed back in his hotel room.
Paige, hungry for fun and wanting to score, cons Mari into driving them to the hotel. As the group settles in, Justin’s dad returns. The group are busted, but that’s the least of their worries. Justin’s dad is KRUG!!!
The girls try to escape, but Francis beats them down and the group steals Mari’s SUV.
Fleeing the town since his photo is on the front page of every paper, Krug figures he can use Mari and Paige as hostages if things get tough.
He also hopes that maybe they’ll be his son’s first kills. you see Justin is no Krug. In fact, he’s a sweet kid who just happened to get the worst father in the world.
With Paige unconscious, Mari devises and escape plan. She causes a ruckus in the SUV, which ends with it rolling down a hill and wrapping around a tree.
Pissed, Krug knives Paige in the gut and rapes Mari for causing trouble. Before they can kill her, Mari flees the scene and dives into the nearby lake. Krug manages to put a bullet in her before she can get away.
Knowing the cops will be on their butts, Krug and his group decide to seek shelter as a storm rolls in. Injured and hungry, they go for the first residence they find, and it happens to be the last house on the left.
What worked about this script? Updating a vile monster like Krug to 2008 was always gonna be a tricky proposition, but the writers nailed him. He has some funny lines, but he’s more like Freddy from Nighmare 1 then the jokier versions from the later instalments.
His group, Francis and Sadie are just plain old cold-blooded killers. Sadie is exactly like the earlier version. Francis is still the creepy rapist with designs on Mrs. Collingwood. It doesn’t matter that little effort was put into these characters as Krug is the central focus of the villains, and the spotlight shouldn’t be taken off him.
Justin is the most sympathetic character in the script. He’s a normal teen, who along with trying to cope with all the stuff that goes with puberty has a dad that’s a raving psycho.
I liked the Collingwood family. They felt believable and honest. Even Mari wasn’t some typical dumb bimbo that got herself into trouble. She doesn’t deserve the horrors that happen to her.
Emma Collingwood is a loving, loyal mom who doesn’t once sprain her ankle, or do anything stupid that will have audiences shouting at the screen.
John Collingwood is the most interesting character to me. A man of medicine who swore to save lives, his transformation from doctor to vengeful dad was superb.
The kills are also quite graphic. Claw hammers are buried into skulls, people get their faces blown off. This isn’t gonna be as gory as The Hills Have Eyes remake, but it will have its moments.
Krug’s demise takes place on the last page and had me smiling with joy. You see, this script puts the audience in the shoes of the parents. It asks, what would you do if someone hurt your family? My answer was the same as John Collingwood’s. I’d waste the fucker!!!
All in all, a solid effort, and it may be the film that will finally put the troubled Rogue Pictures on the map.