Running Time: 114 minutes. Directed by: Dennis Iliadis Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Riki Lindhome, Aaron Paul and Sara Paxton. A remake of the 1972 horror film tells a story of a family pushed beyond the brink and forced to answer the question, “Are you willing to do what it takes?” The original Wes Craven movie became a classic. This film had big shoes to fill and delivered on almost all counts.

 The Collingwood family go on a vacation to a remote location to spend some quality time together. While there, Mari and her friend Paige run into a “family” of convicts on the run. Along with kidnapping and stealing the Collingwood’s SUV, the gang brutally assaults the two young girls. The criminals unknowingly seek refuge at the home of one of the girls where the parents offer to let them spend the night not knowing they are housing the very people that have harmed their daughter.

This film is based on the original, Last House On The Left by Wes Craven, which was banned for over 32 years in Australia, and pays homage to the original in every way. With Craven as an executive producer it was sure to be true to the story. There are a few differences in the two, like the fact that in the original the 2 girls are going to a rock concert whereas in the this version they are just hanging out and get caught up in something that is none of their business. While the first movie was very graphic, in the newer version director Dennis Iliadis and the producers took a higher road with less graphic material. That’s not to say that there aren’t some very disturbing scenes in this film, there are. The original sort of had an exploitation feel to it which was typical of the times, but today’s version is straight horror. Craven undoubtedly learned from his past experience since with the 1972 version he struggled to get an R rating and had to eventually find a creative way to get it done.

Sara Paxton does a great job of playing Mari and gives her a much stronger will than the original Mari played by Sandra Cassel. We find ourselves pulled into her experience with ease. Garret Dillahunt plays Krug to a “T” and gives more depth to the role. Riki Lindhome seemed to take a voracious attitude toward playing Sadie and really pulled off showing a sadistic love for inflicting pain. She was the most insane one of the bunch. Aaron Paul meanwhile, did a fine job of playing Francis who has a thing with blades. It was excruciating to watch him get his nose worked on by the doctor.

Wow! Does this movie deliver the suspense! While we can’t consider this movie without including the original, I feel it does stand on it’s own. The 1972 version went mostly for the gore and exploitation factor. Today’s version has everything that a good horror movie requires. The victim is helplessly attacked so we as the audience want the revenge and you can really feel this movie kick into a higher gear once Mari’s parents find out who is staying in their home. You know what happened to their daughter and you just can’t wait to see how they exact their revenge. The question is however, “Are they willing to do whatever they have to when the time comes?”

If you are squeamish or can’t stand brutality, you may want to stear clear of this one, but if you are a horror fan, then you will enjoy it from beginning to end. I gave this film 4 stars and I think this is about as good as this story can be told. Having said that, I was left with wanting more so would be very happy to see this become a small franchise. Just don’t let it turn into The Last House On The Left 10 or 20…