Friday, May 1, 2009

Last House on the Left

Last house on the left

One has to admire the deceiving simplicity of that title.

Last house… end of the road, placed on a border. A place that still offers communal safety and yet already shows signs of separation. It’s the last house …on the left, it’s not only placed on an outskirts but on the sinister side. This place is only one step removed from the fragile barrier that divides us from total anarchy and barbarism. A line too easily traversed into that feared dark zone where people freely succumb to their most vile, inhuman urges. A zone we know to begin not beyond the borders of town but within its outskirts where the dregs of society gathers.
It’s the very mother to the don’t go alone places.

The title is a clever capitalization on a common fear, the fear of drifting away from communal safety, sliding down on the social ladder, forced by poverty into more unpleasant neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods where, we know that from watching Hollywood movies, the people live that shun society (not the other way around). People which prey upon those that dare to still hold on to a blue eyed believe of human dignity.
There’s a unspoken genius to that title.
It manages to summarize the whole movie into one single line. A single line of deceptive innocence ringing up a deep-set fear in us we can almost touch upon, almost, but not quite.

The title holds a elegance which the movie dearly misses.
But the title’s promise of elegance in execution is readily dispelled by the posters motive that speaks of stark terror and victimization, at that we can’t blame the director. At least with the original, the not very inspired looking artwork for the remake makes you wonder if they not had the poster for a very different house on mind: House on the Cemetery holds a closer, but much more ‘inviting’ looking, semblance.

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