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The Last House on the Left in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Last House on the Left

Tony Goldwyn • Monica Potter • Sara Paxton • Garret Dillahunt • Riki Lindhome • Aaron Paul • Martha MacIssac
DIRECTOR: Dennis Iliadis

The four psychopaths THE CONCEPT:
When Mari (Paxton) leaves her parents’ lake house to visit her friend Paige (MacIsaac), the two girls are kidnapped by a psychopathic prison escapee, Krug (Dillahunt), and his sadistic brother, Francis (Paul), and deranged girlfriend, Sadie (Lindhome).
Left for dead, Mari manages to get back to the lake house, not knowing in an unexpected storm that her attackers have taken refuge there. When her parents, John and Emma (Goldwyn and Potter) find out what has happened to her, the three strangers will curse the day the came to the last house on the left

U.S. RELEASE: March 13 2009, Nationwide • Rated: R


“During the making of the movie, the first word from the fans was, ‘Oh God, why are they remaking that?’ But somebody told me fairly recently that The Maltese Falcon was a third remake of an original film, so it kind of liberated me from the feeling that there’s something bad about a remake. In the theatre new directors take on the same material all the time. Death of a Salesman had been done 10 billion times and it’s still powerful.”

Director Dennis Iliadis on set“The story is so powerful that the moment that you decide to do it there’s so much stuff there that you don’t really have time to look back. There’s a specific scene that really inspired me in Wes’ film, which is what happens after they do the terrible stuff they do in the woods, where you have the feeling that time almost stops and these people you have perceived as monsters have this moment where they’re not sure about themselves. That was something I really loved in the original and I tried to keep that same scene whilst not totally sticking to the same plot. We changed many things trying to give it a more real time feeling, staying with the characters the whole time.”

Sara Paxton“Garret and I met a couple of years ago, I was about 15. We were doing a pilot of Mr Ed, a remake of the television show. I got along really well with Garret on that set, so when I learned he was going to be playing Krug, I was honestly so relieved because all I could keep thinking was, ‘Who’s going to be playing Krug?’ Some actors don’t want to form a relationship if they have to hate you on screen, they don’t want to get to know you in real life. When I knew it was Garret, who is so unlike Krug, he’s so gentle, sweet and thoughtful, I knew we weren’t going to have a problem communicating and going full-force on the assault scene.”

Garret Dillahunt“I was very relieved when I heard Sara was playing the role of Mari. I went back and forth at first, I was like, ‘Oh, great, I know her.’ ‘Oh no, I can’t do that to my friend.’ It was a real see-saw, and it probably got annoying to her. I kept trying to make light of it or assure her, and she was like, ‘Okay, just do it and shut up.’ It was one of the most focused days I had, because I was determined to do it right and do it on time, and bundle Sara off to a hot bath.”

Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter“I was shocked when I read how violent [the script] was. So Marianne (Maddalena, the producer) sent me Dennis’ movie Hardcore, and I thought it was so brilliantly done and showed such attention to detail; there’s a humanity to it. That movie was very in your face as well, and shocking in a different way. I could see I was in the hands of a talented director.”

“Tony and I came in a little bit later than the rest of the cast. I really didn’t want to rehearse with [Garret, Aaron and Riki], and I told Marianne that, because I didn’t want it to feel like I was acting this. So I didn’t hang out with them for the first three to four weeks. Later we started to do stuff together.”

“My favorite scene in the film is the huge fight sequence in the back seat of the car. We had to take the back seat out and move it back [for the cameras] and there was this big nail sticking up, and I’m fighting Riki, she’s pulling my hair, and it got so intense I landed on one of the nails and it went under my knee cap. I screamed out and Dennis was like, ‘Cut! Print that! That was the best one, it was so real. How did you that?’ It was real.”

“Doing the fight in the kitchen was intense and tiring, frantic and crazy. We had to do the rehearsal for it with the stunt guy, and it doesn’t look like a lot went into it, but you don’t have the liberty to adlib any movement, you have to do exactly what they show you, because you don’t want to get hurt and you don’t want to hurt anyone. We all had scrapes, and my shoulder really hurt from that damned fire extinguisher.”

WES CRAVEN on being called the Master of Horror:
“There’s an unscheduled dinner every once in awhile here in Los Angeles of the Masters of Horror. I like that idea much more. I’m one of the guys who have kind of figured it out, but there are many, I’m not just the Master of Horror.”

Francis (Aaron Paul), Krug (Garret Dillahunt), Justin (Spencer Treat Clark) and Sadie (Riki Lindhome)

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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