43. The Last House on the Left (Dennis Iliadis, 2009)

I had no right to like this film. It is not only a remake, it’s a remake of a remake and It’s dirty and it’s dark and it’s violent. Like its predecessor, the film’s signature moment is a rape sequence, and though perhaps exploitive, there is nothing titillating about the sequence whatsoever. It is appropriately torturous, incredibly difficult to watch, and becomes an interesting catalyst for some morally ambiguous revenge. This is not a fun horror film to watch, it is far from satisfying, and even the the revenge taken on the aggressors is so morally ambiguous that you can’t revel in the demise of the invaders. Yet, I personally found the film fascinating for this very reason. It reminds me, though not with nearly the intellectually charge, of Haneke’s Funny Games (at the very least, it lacks Haneke’s condescension). There is an artfulness in the direction and a condemnation of violence that is extremely involving and yet confusing. Unfortunately, the strange final scene makes a mockery of what precedes it. I suppose one could argue that it is the signifier of the complete moral decay of the father but there isn’t too much in the text to support that claim.

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