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Dennis Iliadis
Garret Dillahunt, Monica Potter, Sara Paxton
Writing Credits:
Carl Ellsworth

After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims: a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.

Box Office:
$15 Million.
Opening Weekend
$14,118,685 on 2401 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R/Unrated.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Dolby Vision
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Theatrical: 110 min.
Unrated: 114 min.
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 9/12/2023

• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts of the Film
• Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Flint and Adrian Smith (Theatrical Only)
• Introduction from Director Dennis Iliadis (Theatrical Only)
• 6 Deleted Scenes
• “A Look Inside” Featurette
• “A River of Blood” Featurette
• “The Notorious Krug” Featurette
• “Suspending Disbelief” Featurette
• “Reviving the Legend” Featurette
• Trailer
• Still Gallery
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Last House on the Left: Collector's Edition [4K UHD] (2009)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 12, 2023)

1972’s The Last House on the Left marked Wes Craven’s debut as a feature film director. 37 years later, it got remade with this 2009 take on the property.

Dr. John Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn), wife Emma (Monica Potter), and 17-year-old daughter Mari (Sara Paxton) visit their remote lake house. While Mari sees her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac), they encounter a seedy young man named Justin (Spencer Treat Clark). Paige wants to buy some pot, and Justin promises her can hook them up with what she desires.

Bad move, as it turns out Justin is the son of Krug (Garret Dillahunt), a violent criminal whose brother Francis (Aaron Paul) and bisexual girlfriend Sadie (Riki Lindhome) recently freed him from incarceration. While Justin, Paige and Mari get high in a motel room, the other three return and ratchet up the tension level.

In need of funds and transportation, Krug and his cronies steal the girls’ money and Mari’s SUV. Unfortunately for the girls, the baddies don’t stop there.

They feel they can’t let the witnesses go free, so they kidnap them. As they hightail it out of town, Mari tries to escape, and the SUV crashes.

This leads to various forms of pain as Krug and company torture the girls. Eventually things come back to Mari’s parents as well.

I won’t add any more to my synopsis because it would be tough for me to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say that much violence and immorality ensues.

When I look at a remake, normally I like to discuss whether or not it tops its predecessor. In the case of Last House, this question became moot, as there was almost no way it couldn’t be a better movie than the 1972 original.

I know the flick enjoys a good fanbase, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out its appeal. Due to its graphic nature, it broke some barriers, but it was such an amateurish film with so many flaws that it flops.

From camerawork to score to acting, almost everything that could be crummy is crummy in the 1972 Last House. I can forgive its primitive production values – indeed, they may add to the flick’s potential feeling of realism – but I can’t get past its cheesiness.

At the very least, the 2009 remake provides a much better made movie. It boasts real actors and doesn’t look like something filmed by a bunch of chimps.

Framing that makes sense? Logical editing? A score that doesn’t feel like it’d be more appropriate for a tampon commercial? All of these factors alone mean that the 2009 Last House improves on its predecessor.

But none of them mean it’s really any good. For the most part, the 2009 version sticks pretty close to the original’s template, especially during its first half. It veers away a little more strongly in the final hour, so expect some twists there.

Which I regard as a good thing, as a more literal adaptation would’ve been awfully boring for folks who saw the original film. Granted, the 2009 edition doesn’t change events so substantially that much of it comes as a surprise, but I do appreciate the attempt to rework the tale in a few ways.

Not that all the alterations work. Most do, but the minor backstory about Mari’s dead older brother goes nowhere.

Perhaps it’s meant to add emotion to the flick, but it simply doesn’t bring anything useful to the table. It’s thrown out there and left without much support.

One significant change relates to the movie’s tone, as the 1972 Last House offered a strange mix of brutal imagery and sub-moronic comedy. The remake totally loses scenes with the police, and since they were the main source of attempted laughs, the comic relief goes out the window.

I definitely like that decision, as the jokes/slapstick felt horribly out of place in the original film. The remake establishes a much more consistent vibe and allows the viewer to remain entrenched in its world more easily.

The 2009 film also portrays its characters in a more realistic manner. Despite the poor acting, the Collingwoods and Mari’s friend – named “Phyllis” in the original – came across as real people, but Krug and his associates were all silly caricatures. It became tough to take the movie’s events seriously because the baddies were so ridiculous and over the top.

In the remake, Krug and company seem significantly more viable. Their actions display better motivation, for one.

In the original, they tortured Mari and Phyllis solely for sadistic kicks, but here their behavior seems more logical. Plus, the characters simply come across as better drawn and not so cartoony.

Some of that stems from the superior actors, but a lot of it comes from the script. Here he writers obviously decided to allow Krug and the others to present real – albeit psychotic – people.

Originally named “Junior”, Justin gets the biggest makeover. He seems like an intellectually stunted weirdo in the 1972 version, whereas he’s more of a troubled kid here.

The casting helps again, partially because Clark actually looks like he could be Dillahunt’s kid based on age. In the prior flick, Junior and Krug looked to be about the same age!

The treatment of Justin also makes him more of a sympathetic character. Junior was just too creepy to earn much affection from the audience, whereas Justin comes across as abused and a victim in his own right.

The 2009 version focuses on sex less than the original but it proves bloodier. I suppose that’s a sign of the times and shows the MPAA’s bias. The film does contain a rape scene, but sex still doesn’t play as much of a role as in the prior flick, and the violence is a bit more graphic.

While I firmly believe that the 2009 Last House is a much better film than its 1972 predecessor, that doesn’t mean I think it’s an especially good movie. Some of this stems from my great disenchantment with the original. In my book, it wouldn’t be tough to improve on it, so a mediocre Last House would still be a step up in quality.

However, I think most of my lukewarm reaction to the remake results simply from its mediocrity. Perhaps the film would’ve worked better for me if I’d never seen the original.

While the 2009 edition does alter some story points, the two remain pretty close, so no huge surprises result. I essentially knew where the story would go, and that may have dampened the tale’s impact.

Or it could just be an average film. To be sure, it does what it wants to do for the most part, and it keeps us with it.

Nonetheless, the 2009 Last House never quite catches fire, as it suffers from a surprising lack of emotional impact. It provides a competent take on its story but not better than that.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

The Last House on the Left appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Stylistic choices kept the transfer from looking terrific, but I thought the Dolby Vision image replicated the source well.

Sharpness was usually very good. A few wide shots looked a smidgen soft, but not to any serious degree, so the vast majority of the film appeared well-defined and concise.

No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge halows remained absent. In terms of print issues, no concerns materialized. The film featured a fair amount of intentional grain but nothing else.

Like most modern horror movies, Last House went with a stylized palette. Much of the flick stayed with a pretty desaturated set of tones that emphasized a dull sense of teal or yellow.

Within those constraints, the hues were appropriate and well-rendered. HDR gave them a little added range and clarity.

Blacks seemed dark and tight, while shadows showed nice delineation and didn’t appear too dense. Whites and contrast got a boost from HDR. Overall, this was a positive presentation.

Similar thoughts greeted the good DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Last House, where the soundfield mostly came to life during a few action sequences. The SUV provided fairly good material from the side and rear speakers, and a few other sequences also used those speakers to reasonably positive effect.

Otherwise this was a mix heavy on atmosphere. Those elements created a nice sense of place and added impact to the material.

Audio quality satisfied. Speech sounded crisp and distinctive, and music appeared robust and full.

Effects were accurate and dynamic. Low-end response showed good thump and richness. Nothing here dazzled, but the audio merited a “B+”.

How did the 4K UHD compare to the 2023 Arrow Blu-ray? Both came with identical audio.

Though it came from a 2K source, the Dolby Vision 4K offered a slight improvement in accuracy, and it showed superior blacks and colors. The 4K didn’t blow away the Blu-ray, but it acted as a moderate improvement.

Note that I felt the 2023 Blu-ray looked/sounded virtually identical to the original 2009 Blu-ray. As such, one should obviously expect the same step up in quality from the 4K.

The Arrow 2023 release combines old and new extras, and we find two separate versions of the film. In addition to the R-rated theatrical cut (1:49:44), we also get an unrated edition of the film (1:53:35).

With less than four minutes added, no one should expect major differences. The Unrated version’s additions mix minor story/character beats with brief snippets lost to retain an “R” rating.

These don’t really seem all that graphic, but they make Unrated a more intense and unsettling affair. Though Unrated doesn’t substantially rework the film, it seems like the better executed cut.

Note that while we get Theatrical on a 4K disc, Unrated only appears on a Blu-ray.

All the set’s extras appear on the 4K disc, and six Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 58 seconds. Most of these provide minor extensions to existing scenes. None of them add anything particularly useful, and they all would’ve slowed down the movie.

A promotional featurette called A Look Inside runs a mere two minutes, 41 seconds. It provides remarks from producers Sean Cunningham and Wes Craven and director Dennis Iliadis.

They tell us nothing about the film’s creation, as instead, we just see movie clips and get a few thoughts about the plot. It’s a waste of time.

All the extras discussed above came with the 2009 disc, so now I’ll examine materials new to the 2023 Arrow release. We can watch the theatrical cut with an Introduction from Director Dennis Iliadis.

The filmmakers offers some notes about his career in the late 2000s, what brought him to this film, cast/crew and answers to two hot-button topics. Iliadis makes this a short but informative reel.

Alongside the theatrical edition, we find an audio commentary from film historians Adrian Smith and David Flint. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, genre topics, cast and performances, comparisons with the original and their thoughts on both flicks.

If you want production information, you'll not find it here. If you want a good appraisal of the movie and the genre, though, this becomes a pretty engaging discussion.

A few featurettes follow, and A River of Blood goes for 31 minutes, 27 seconds. It brings notes from actor Sara Paxton.

Here we find details about how she got into acting as well as aspects of her Last House experiences. Paxton provides a lot of good stories – such as the threat of baboon attacks! – in this enjoyable piece.

The Notorious Krug spans 27 minutes, one second. With this one, we get comments from actor Garret Dillahunt.

He looks at his career, thoughts about the project and some of his notes about the shoot. While not as lively as Paxton’s chat, Dillahnt nonetheless brings a good collection of thoughts.

Next comes Suspending Disbelief. In this 18-minute, 26-second program, we hear from screenwriter Carl Ellsworth.

“Disbelief” examines the adaptation of the original and aspects of the writing process. Ellsworth covers his involvement well.

Lastly, Reviving the Legend goes for 33 minutes, six seconds. This time we get info from producer Jonathan Craven.

Via “Legend”, we learn about his youthful experiences during his dad’s creation of the 1972 movie, his thoughts about that version, and his work on the remake. Expect another useful reel.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we locate a Stills Gallery. It shows 31 shots from the movie and becomes a forgettable compilation.

While the 2009 Last House on the Left does not shock as much as the 1972 original, it does present a much better made film. This does not make it a great work, though, and the flick leaves me curiously cold. The 4K UHD offers very good picture and audio and it comes with some useful supplements. Last House fans will want to give it a look, but don’t expect a better than average movie.

To rate this film visit the prior review of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main