Before Wes Craven frightened audiences with the Scream mask, and before he made films about serial killers who find us in our dreams, he made one of the most powerful horror films of the 1970s. The Last House on the Left is a revenge film with staggering power, hardly a horror film as much as it is simply horrifying. The Last House on the Left stands with films like The Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre in significance, but it is in the realism of the situation that it becomes more unbearable than the others.
The film begins with two teenagers (Sandra Cassel and Lucy Grantham) on their way to a rock concert. In an attempt to but marijuana they find themselves caught up with a ruthless group of criminals in a van. Dragged into the woods and violently abused beyond imagine before being tortured and killed, the two girls don’t stand a chance against the psychopathic group. The film becomes interesting when the gang’s van breaks down and they are forced to get help. Coincidence has them knocking at the home of the parents of one of the girls they left in the woods, and the reaction is excessively more violent than the previous violent act.
The Blu-ray release includes a fantastic high definition presentation of the film, and it comes with the special features from the DVD release as well. There is a commentary track with Craven, along with producer Sean Cunningham. Craven is also in a featurette about the legacy of the film and one of his unfinished short film by the director. A separate commentary track has actors David Hess, Marc Sheffler and Fred Lincoln. There is also a ton of additional footage, deleted and never-before-seen. Even outtakes and footage which is deemed ‘forbidden.’ The special features push this disc over the top as a must have for any true collector.