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Everyone had to start somewhere. All great filmmakers can look back and remember their first one. For legendary thriller director Wes Craven, that means the 1972 cult classic, The Last House on the Left.
Shot on a shoestring budget, the film went on to make millions at the box office and launched the career of the director that brought us A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes and the Scream trilogy. We’re talking a film that was banned in the UK and Australia for its controversial racy content.
On March 13th, which conveniently is an appropriately spooky Friday the 13th, The Last House on the Left returns to theaters as an updated take on the classic revenge shocker. This time Craven tapped Greek director Dennis Iliadis to helm, whose gritty 2004 flick Hardcore scored some cult cred (and controversy) of its own. Craven and original LHOL producer Sean S. Cunningham produced the remake along with Marianne Maddelena.
The story holds mostly true to the original, taking place in a sleepy summer vacation town with seventeen year-old beauty Mari Collingwood (Sara Paxton) and her friend (Martha MacIsaac) crossing paths with a psychopathic prison escapee Krug (Garret Dillahunt) and his crew of fugitives. Their adventure spirals into a terrifying chain of events that becomes the ultimate game of revenge. Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter play the Collingwood parents who unexpectedly get thrown in the thick of it all.
“I’m far enough removed from these films that the remakes are a little like having grandchildren,” Craven told Variety in an interview about the film. “The story, about the painful side effects of revenge, is an evergreen. The headlines are full of people and nations taking revenge and getting caught up in endless cycles of violence.”
Director Iliadis added recently, “I want this to be a film that grabs you and never lets you go.” “At the same time, it should make us think a bit about human nature,” he says. “Who is civilized, who is uncivilized? Who is violent, who is normal? Our film grabs you by the throat and tells us some things about human nature. We are an interesting species.”
So, things to do before March 13th:
- Check out the The Last House on the Left trailer (above)
- Tell your friends (Tweet this!)
- Buy tickets to see the film.
- Take another look at Wes’ web series picks from Halloween: