There are a number of cinematic heuristics that hold true for most movie goers. Things like: sequels are generally not as good as the originals, and: all Uwe Boll movies suck. After seeing The Last House On The Left, there’s another I’d like to suggest, and that is: notorious 70’s horror movies are never as shocking as they are reputed to be.
I imagine The Last House On The Left may have been shocking in 1972, but today it’s just, well, a patchy old horror movie. I say “patchy” because everything from the direction, to the performances, to the cinematography, to the story itself, are all over the shop. The performances of the three main “bad guys” are solid and the scenes where they torment their victims are effective. However, the performances of the victim’s parents are woefully unconvincing and when combined with the exploitative plotting in the later stages of the film the whole thing just becomes laughably inept.
After finally seeing this notorious film I just kept wondering what all the fuss was about.