I saw the original Last House on the Left (or, Last House '72) towards the end of college, when Matt and I went on this big, years-long binge of horror movies. A lot of them have kind of blended together, to the point that I sometimes can't remember if a scene that I'm remembering is from Fulchi's Zombi 2 or Argento's Bird with the Crystal Plumage (hint: if it involves zombies, it's Fulchi), but two certainly haven't: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (perhaps a subject for another day), and Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left. I'd like to be sarcastic and say it's because of the hyper-inappropriate cross-cutting between the Keystone Kops rushing to the house to save the day (which, as anyone who has a passing familiarity with Craven's work can tell you, they don't) and the brutal, nasty stuff going down in and around the Collingwood cabin, but it's really because it had an exceptionally visceral quality to it that I'd never seen in a film before, and doubt I ever will again (I feel inclined to make a virginity joke here, but I'll leave that one to you, dear reader).
Last House '09 has got nothing on it's predecessor. It says nothing significant, isn't noteworthy for any other reason that Garrett Dillahunt's performance (which is extraordinary, as usual - does that make it "ordinary?"), and, insofar as the much-bandied-about "ending" goes, is fairly lacking.
I wrote myself a bunch of notes on my iPhone over the course of the film, but, due to the fact that I feel less than inspired to translate them into paragraphs of writing, I'll just post them, in their entirety, in the order in which they came to me:
"cigarette lighter why not in the eye
aerial view of the suv pinballing
closeup doesn't equal awkward
swimming shot at the start is good foreshadowing
c grade paul dano [regarding the son]
there's a difference between gritty realism and manufactured gritty realism
krug wants his son to look - how does that relate to us the audience
2x stabbing - first time i've seen that in a movie?
assault is alternately well & poorly shot - so poorly edited?
dillahunt likes shooting motherfuckers in the back
no one's likable enough to generate sympathy
resetting broken nose = FUCK
stitches don't quite = fuck
oh shit the power went out
daughter surviving is lame - they should've stolen the girls' phones and been found out that way...?
justin sees -> what could his reaction say about the audience
maybe i take it back re finding out (still could've been a good fuck you we know what you did moment
c grade viggo [regarding the dad]
history of violence
cutting on your own child
this is the sort of movie that makes people hate handycam?
like a summer guest home invasion movie?
francis & emma in the kitchen
zombie fighting tool shed
no outdoors bj w/ biting... almost too bad
reverse rape through drowning?
couple walked out
son sees krug & sadie in bed, watching w/ gun
crazy topless bitch with shower curtain rod - mom shoots her where daughter should've burned her
husband & wife can only kill in tandem
music is vaguely john carpenter
...So, there you go.