Pop Junk’s 31 Days of Halloween: #20 The Last House On The Left.

“It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie”  This was the tag line and pretty much what the general audience was muttering to themselves after shitting their pants on the way out of the theater back in 1972 for Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left”  In 1972 this flick must have really been a shocker when it hit the theaters.  Much like two years later in Texas Chainsaw Massacre this flick is just so grainy, gritty and low budget that it looks like a 70’s documentary about three weird slaughtering teenage girls.  There is absolutely no way you can recapture the feel and tone of these kinds of movies.  Just watching Last House of the Year gives you that odd feeling that people were actually being hurt just filming this.

The story follows two teenagers celebrating one of their 17th birthday by traveling to go to a BloodLust concert. (how was that never a real band?)  Along the way they are kidnapped by three escape convicts and are prey to some pretty disturbing stuff that makes you feel really uneasy. A tribute to the film maker Wes Craven for taking chances in his debut flick.  This film is just brutal and relentless, maybe not so by today’s standards with the torture porn movement in horror films now, but this film set the bar pretty disgustingly high.   After the convicts make their way to the home of one of the slaughtered girls, it quickly turns into a gross out revenge flick.

The realism is what really captures the audience in Wes Craven’s chilling debut film.  The tension brought on by what the three convicts do to these two girls is gut wrenching and cringe worthy.  I have a feeling those who have no love for classic cinema will think this movie looks really dumb when held up to movies today, but I really feel the opposite.  Without leaning on computer generated gore, film makers were given very little and had to be creative to keep you entertained.  This movie had a visceral impact on horror films at the time really pushing the envelop with how far is too far.  Required viewing for horror buffs, but maybe not over and over since this film really gives you that not so fresh feelings when you’re done…Remember, it’s only a movie.

 

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~ by ATOM on October 12, 2011.

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