The Explosive Review – The Last House On The Left (1972)

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Two teenage girls head out on the town for a concert. Along the way, they hear a radio report concerning a pack of four criminals who escaped from prison. On the way back, they attempt to score some marijuana as they stroll through the city streets – it is then that they meet one of the criminals who leads them back to the apartment they live in, trapping them there.

Wes Craven’s film debut, which was influenced by Vietnam War news footage, was highly controversial for the amount of graphic violence it contained and let alone, the nature of the psychotic and sadistic villains themselves. The film is classic exploitative trash as well as a bold artistic statement. It’s one of those movies that stands in the same line as “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974) and “Night of the Living Dead” (1968).  

Also keep in mind, this is a horror movie but not in the sense of Freddy, Jason, or some supernatural force running amuck; it is purely psychopathic criminals doing the killing here. Wes Craven’s script does a great job of getting you involved with the two main girls and their friendship, enough for you to care for them and strongly route for them to escape in one piece. Unfortunately, that’s not the way things panned out for them – then again, not along after their deaths, the villains’ car breaks down right outside of one of the girls’ house and they have no choice but to con their way into spending the night with the parents before getting a lift in the morning. At that point, you start routing for the girl’s parents to give the criminals a taste of their own medicine.


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