Unlike most of the countless horror remakes littering the horizon, The Last House on the Left ’08 is at least casting like it means to be more than just a brand-name cash-in – which is good since The Last House on the Left brand probably couldn’t spring for dinner at Shakey’s. Thus far, the film’s attracted the on-the-cusp Garret Dillahunt (he’ll play the psychotic Krug), Martha McIsaac (as I was reminded in my last news item regarding this film, she gives great Blow Js) and Rhys Coiro (director of Medellin); now you can add Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter to the mix.
Yeah, Potter’s a big blah as the mom, but Goldwyn is very intriguing casting as the civilized father who’s driven to unspeakable acts when he unwittingly (and improbably) opens his home to the possible murderers of his daughter; though he’s lately thrown most of his creative energies into directing, he’s always been interesting as seemingly decent men forced into violence. Oh, and I say “possible murderers” because it sounds like the screenplay by Adam Alleca, Mark Haslett and Carl Ellsworth will spare the young girl. If that’s what the writers are up to, this could either soften the tone or toughen the theme: on one hand, they could be setting up for a redemptive finale; on the other, maybe they’re after a futility-of-revenge thing. Neither would be revelatory, but such tweaks would at least distinguish the remake from the original.
From what I’ve heard of director Dennis Iliadis, he’s the type to push boundaries, so this could very well be a white-knuckler in the mold of Alexandre Aja’s The Hills Have Eyes. I wasn’t the biggest fan of that film, but I’d take its conviction over the neutered nonsense of Platinum Dunes’ increasingly insipid remakes.
The Last House on the Left ’08 begins production this month in South Africa.