In The Last House on the Left, a group of typical Hollywood villains stumble into the isolated lakeside property of a group of typical Hollywood good guys. What follows next is arguably an astute treatise on the universal immorality of violence, reinforcing a message that violence, even when wielded for the purposes of good, still cheapens and dehumanises the perpetrators. Alternatively The Last House on the Left is just an expensive Hollywood snuff movie – purely voyeuristic pain-porn – designed to make the target audience of young men aged 18-25 drool and cheer as the flesh is penetrated.
Needless to say, I found it the latter. In fact, I only watched it, finger on the fast forward button during the gross and utterly gratuitous bits, because it was filmed in South Africa (I got a heads up on this when I bumped into man-crush Tony Goldwyn down at the shops, which is always a bit of a give-away over here.) So although I disliked the casual brutality and teen-cruel mentality of the film itself, I have to say, that once again Film Afrika pulled off the trick of making the Helderberg Nature Reserve feel exactly like somewhere authentically North American.