For your consideration, the following horror titles are out on DVD today:

Last House on the Left
Surprise! Wes Craven's original 1972 shocker doesn't hold up. The most notorious scenes -- a rape in the woods and an attack in a house -- are more disgusting than horrifying nowadays, perhaps a reflection of society's increasing depravity. (Though I don't think anyone would argue that the hick sheriff and his idiot sidekick are anything more than major, embarrassing missteps, complete with jangly banjo accompaniment.) That makes the idea of a remake a bit more appealing, and director Dennis Iliadis fills the bill quite nicely.

The tone is consistently downbeat, with Garret Dillahunt as a restrained, though still nasty-hearted, leader of a small wild bunch of criminals and deviants. The rape is more horrific, perhaps because Sara Paxton is a stronger-willed victim, which makes the crime more unsettling. Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter are well-cast as the victim's loving, determined parents.

While there are definite missteps -- I'm thinking of the outcome of the rape scene and the scenes toward the end, which veer away from the ultra-serious demeanor of the film, this is the rare remake that, dare I say it, actually improves upon the original. Both the DVD and Blu-ray releases include the theatrical and unrated versions -- the latter adds four minutes of footage. Also included are deleted scenes, and a "making of" feature.

categories Dvds, Horror