Horror & Sadism: They Don’t Go Hand In Hand

Look…I don’t want to get all wishy-washy on this topic, because I enjoy a good, violent drama as much as the next person. I have seen “Pulp Fiction” several times and consider it to be a classic. I’ve watched “300” & “Sin City” & “The Departed” and I’ve seen people murdered in a variety of different ways on film. Back when I was growing up, the “Nightmare” and “Halloween” movies were big business! So I know a little bit about violence in film.

But this past weekend, another film in the genre of torture porn hits the theaters, and I can’t figure out why. And going even farther, what is it that would make a film company even want to make a movie like “The Last House On The Left”? This is another in a long line of cinematic remakes from a horror film from the ‘80’s. I never saw the original, so I honestly have no idea if it is a “true” remake or if it is simply stealing the title. But this I do know…they’ve been showing trailers for it during prime time television and this film just looks awful.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, consider yourself lucky. If you have, you get the feeling that a family is terrorized by a group of people and then the family takes revenge into their own hands. And from the looks of it, the terrorists do something awful to the daughter in the film. A review in USA Today on Friday confirms what I think the plot is all about. And, as the father of 2 young children, I am appalled at the audacity of Hollywood and the way it churns out crap like this.

Let me get this straight…the film industry looks down upon serious films that include adult matter such as “Kids”, “Thirteen” or any number of films that might include sex or nudity. But THIS kind of crap has trailers on during primetime tv???  WTF?

For the record, this movie is NOT scary. It is NOT a horror film. It stands in the same genre as the “Hostel” films. Its main source of terror is the kind of violence it can come up with. There is nothing scary about SEEING a rape. There is nothing scary about WATCHING a person being tortured. The horror of something like this is not seeing it but allowing the mind to only imagine what horrific thing is happening to the protagonist. This kind of filmmaking serves absolutely no purpose other than to fill a human mind with images so disturbing that it might never recover. I remember scenes from certain movies and I admit that I will never forget them. Leatherface hanging that woman from a hook in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. The curbside killing in “American History X”. The scene in “The Exorcist” where Linda Blair stabs herself with a cross. If you are an adult who has seen a horror film, you know what I’m talking about. Some things you see and they never leave you.

For those of us who have never witnessed an accident or a killing, these images are very real. And for those of us who are well-adjusted and have good families and a strong moral background, we can store those images in an area in our brain that can adjust to them. I don’t mind violence when it is warranted in a film. So many American films are wrapped up in it. But the kind of violence that a film such as “Last House” promotes is just wrong. I remember seeing a film in college called “I Spit On Your Grave”, which is another violent revenge movie. That movie sticks in my head still and I wish I had never seen it. It did nothing for me at the time. I wasn’t entertained by it. I didn’t find it to be scary. But I watched it with a group of friends and I have always wished I hadn’t

It is human nature to want to look at an accident or wonder what would happen if a piano really did fall on someone’s head. But it is another thing entirely to actually see it happen. And it affects you. This film, although I haven’t seen it, will undoubtedly affect someone. It looks like an angry, ugly film with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. You might be curious. You might think it could be scary. But it isn’t. It’s just crap. And it is crap that should sit quietly by itself in the recesses of the minds from which it came because anyone who sees rape as entertainment obviously doesn’t have children. The thought makes my heart churn. Maybe THAT is what the producers and director will tell you that a horror film is supposed to do. My argument is that is not the case. A horror film should scare me, not repulse me. I will not pay good money to see something so reprehensible. My hopes are that no one will. And then maybe Hollywood will get the message.


2 thoughts on “Horror & Sadism: They Don’t Go Hand In Hand

  1. I saw it 10:45a.m. Saturday morning, as a last-minute “let’s go to the movies” decision. I hadn’t seen any previews for it and didn’t know anything about it… and am now wishing I had read this post first. Disgusting. As a movie I will give it a 2/10 and as a “thriller-horror” a 3.5/10. I saw no reason to show the rape scene. It was not needed, it was only used for “shock factor”. It would have had a better effect for the story, had it been suggested and not graphically and graciously shown. It was a typical teen/slasher/murder/thriller movie that over-stepped the line. I thought the overall concept of the movie was an interesting story, but WOW did they “shit-the-bed”, so to say. They ruined what could have been a new perspective on an old thriller-novel, even a chance at a big opener and a strong first few weeks… I now hope this movie makes no money at all. Which will not happen, but heck, can’t a guy dream? Anyways, back to my movie thoughts… for a slasher (minus the rape scene) it wasn’t even that great. There were a couple of new twists on murder scenes and I respected those, in the slasher movie genre. For the few slasher scenes that were good, I give them a 7/10… original and a new twist. As far as the story its self, it never lent to being award winning. The movie/story starts out so slow and turns predictable about 10 minutes in (keep in mind I went in blind… not knowing anything about this and wanting a “new movie” experience… hoping to find a gem)… the family goes to the summer house, the daughter borrows the SUV to go into town and visits an old friend who wants to go get high… then you can guess the rest. The cast included the bad-guy friend Carl, from Ghost, as the father – the junkie kid from Breaking Bad, The Cap’n – and some other people that I can’t be forced to remember right now. I don’t even feel like writing anymore about it… bottom line, it’s not even worth the matinee price of $6 that I paid for Monica and I. If you can see it for free, start the movie 50 minutes in and you will see a decent slasher flick… other than that, don’t waste time on it, sicne the first 40 minutes build up to the rape scene.

  2. I have seen the previews and will NOT be seeing this movie. I have a really difficult time with ANY movie that depicts sexual violence against women. I know what you are talking about, with images that never leave your head, and most of them for me involve rape scenes, such as in Rob Roy, or Bastard Out of Carolina. Stuff I was shocked to see and wished I never had. I have never been able to watch any movie like that a second time. I’m a little worried about going to see the Watchmen because of this. It affects me profoundly.

    As I get older, I really don’t care for the scary stuff any more. You know how when you see a tv show or movie, and someone gets hurt in such a way that you feel it physically? Out of sympathy? I get that more and more often, and I just can’t do it anymore. I try to make myself watch stuff, and regret it. I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself when I watch something scary.

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