Horror films are a dime a dozen, remakes are too, but lst house on the left is a remake that is actually better than the original. LHOTL is a horror film directed by Dennis Iliadis and stars Tony Goldwin and Monica potter.
The film starts with Mari (Sarah Paxton) moving to a lake house with her mom and dad. She takes the family car to a store where her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac) works. There they meets a young boy named Justin who invites them too smoke pot, which they agree to do. While hanging out Krug, (Garrit Dillahunt) Justin’s father, shows up with Justins uncle and Krugs girlfriend who break up the party. Krugg shows them a newspaper showing how he killed two police officers while escaping jail, he then believes it is too risky to let Mari and Paige go and kidnaps them. While going down a road a fight breaks out in the car and they crash, the girls are brought out and Mari is raped in front of everyone (this is the most disturbing scene in the film as it is so real looking). He then kills Paige and they shoot Mari as she tries to escape by swimming across the lake to the house. After the roads are flooded by rain, they go to the lake house (which contains Mari’s parents unbeknown to them) with a fake story. When the parents discover that Mari is missing and that the killers have her necklace, they discover they are trapped with the people who killed their daughter and must exact vengeance or get out of there.
LHOTL has some of the best acting seen in a low budget horror. The rape scene is the most realistic rape i have ever seen in a film with Paxton doing an amazing job of crying, being scared and fighting back. Paxton really is the highlight of the first half of the film and McIsaac as paige also does a great job. Dillahunt as Krug, is a really good baddie and his scenes where he is shouting at his son are really good. Justin his son, however, gives a generic performance of the shy young boy who only wants peace. Craven said he wanted to avoid cliches, but with the cute Justin and the incredibly attractive girls, he fails, along with Krug being a butch angry villain. Mari’s parents give a great performance especially the dad who is awesome when he figures out the group killed Mari.
The film is actually better than its counterpart for many reasons. The acting is much better this time (although the sadistic scene from the first film which was amazing has been tuned down this time), The soundtrack is much more atmospheric and creepy with shivering generic horror music setting the killers appearance. The kills are much better, in the original (which was banned for high gore) and they are actually more graphic than the first one. In the first one Krug was killed by a chainsaw, but all it was, was blood splatter on the wall. In this film one kill (won’t say who) has the victim having their hand put down a garbage disposal, being half drowned in their blood, hit by a champagne bottle and then a hammer to the skull sending blood everywhere, and the best part is that they have actually been trimmed slightly to get an R rating. The plot basically follows the same as the original except for the arrival of police in the original is cut out (you only see the main characters and know-one else), the kills are different, the whole start of the remake is different but then it is basically the plot of the original.
Overall, LHOTL is a great horror film that uses suspense rather than jump cuts to scare the viewer. The graphic violence (which is limited to blood rather than gore) may put people off and the rape scene may make the easily offended walk away, but it truly is a film made for horror lovers and gore hounds (like me). it is dragged down by cliches and bad pacing after the first half but they can be overlooked. I would recommend it to people looking for a good horror movie for the night, but, others should go for something else.