Wes Craven Q&A! PLUS: WIN The Last House On The Left DVD’s

If someone hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back? “This Wes Craven classic gets a makeover to excellent...


If someone hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back?

“This Wes Craven classic gets a makeover to excellent effect!” **** Bizarre

On the 19th October 2009, Universal Pictures International Entertainment is deighted to bring you the brand new, never before seen, extended cut of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT in all its Blu-ray/ DVD glory.  Revisiting their landmark film, masters of horror Wes Craven and Sean S. Cunningham (A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th, and The Hills Have Eyes) deliver a non-stop rollercoaster thrill ride that will leave you white knuckled and begging for mercy, but at the same time horrifyingly entertained.

With the premise “If someone hurt someone you love, how far would you go to hurt them back…?, we find out exactly how far John and Emma Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn – The Last Samurai and Monica Potter – Saw) will go when they face this  situation during a summer holiday that turns into a terrifying nightmare.

The Collingwood family arrived at their summer lake house ready for a relaxing, tranquil holiday.  With plans to sail on the lake and spend quality time together, it looked set to be a summer to remember but would soon become one they’d wish they could forget.

On the night they arrive their daughter Mari (Sara Paxton – Sydney White) visits her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac – Superbad) in the local town. They are introduced to Justin (Spencer Treat Clark – Gladiator) who convinces them to come back to the hotel he is staying at.  Later that evening Justin’s father Krug (Garret Dillahunt – The Assassination

of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country For Old Men) unexpectedly arrives.  With the help of two menacing accomplices Sadie (Riki Lindhome – Changeling) and Francis (Aaron Paul) he has escaped from police custody and, having brutally murdered two police officers, they are now fugitives on the run.  The girls hear the story on the news and know who they are so they refuse to let them go for fear they will call the police.

After kidnapping and ruthlessly assaulting the two teen girls, leaving them both for dead, the gang unknowingly find shelter from a storm at the Collingwood residence, the one place Mari thinks she will be safe.  John and Emma are unaware of their daughter’s predicament and invite the gang to stay for the evening, thinking they are an average family seeking refuge from the storm.  Justin is terrified of his father and realizes the only way to escape is to make the Collingwoods aware of the events that took place earlier that day.  Before he gets the chance their daughter arrives at the house bloody and struggling for her life.  When her family learns the horrifying story, they will make these strangers curse the day they came to The Last House on the Left…

Bringing one of the most notorious thrillers of all time to a new generation, Wes Craven and Sean S. Cunningham produce a shocking and thrilling re-imagination of the story that explores how far two ordinary people will go to exact revenge on the sociopaths who harmed their child.  Loaded with shocking twists that are beloved of all horror fans, your Halloween is complete thanks to this extraordinarily shocking film.

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Q: The Last House on the Left was your first movie, shot in Super 6 and with a very low budget in 1972. How have you changed since then?

A: I would like to think that I have acquired some wisdom along the way…

Q: How did the idea of making a remake come about?

A: The original contract stated that I would recover the rights to the movie after 30 years; and when that happened I began to entertain the idea of shooting a remake. I think I had done enough films that had made their mark to take this old movie of mine and do it again.

Q: The story is still very relevant today.

A: It’s an old story and yet a perennial one too, as it is about a good family defending their house and their lives.

Q: And it is also about revenge.

A:  Which is a very dangerous cookie to start eating…

Q: In The Last House on the Left and other movies you analyze how peaceful and good people can become violent when pushed to the extreme; which is a concept that also appears in films like Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs. Is that a subject that interests you?

A: I believe that anybody with resources could go there. Most of us can come up with a lot more than we think; but it’s something none of us know until we are thrown into the situation.

Q: So, do we all have a dark side then?

A: Yes we do, because after all we come from primates and they are violent. Some people may not want to face it, but the fact is that we have a violent side. Much of Nature is governed by violence and is about who survives and who doesn’t.

Q: Why didn’t you direct this film yourself?

A: Because I had already done it and, once we had determined that Dennis was the right man for the job, I had the confidence as producer to have him direct it. So, we gave him the space he needed to make his own film within the parameters of the budget.

Q: What made Dennis Iliadis the right man for the job?

A: I chose him because of Hardcore, the previous and first film he had directed, because I thought it was a remarkable movie.

Q: You are always looking for new talent and supporting young filmmakers.

A: I am constantly looking anywhere for new talented directors I can afford.

Q: The horror genre has been very successful throughout the History of Cinema. Why do you believe we like to be scared in a theatre?

A: We are all in a way kind of living a horror film and moving towards death. The audience brings their real fear with them, and there is something about sharing it with other people in the safety of a theatre.

Q: The Last House on the Left is perfectly cast. How involved were you in that process?

A: All those names came across my desk and I agreed to them because they were right for their roles.

Q: Garret Dillahunt is very convincing as Krug, the villain of the story.

A: And when you meet him it’s hard to believe, because he is so nice; but he brought the nuance we wanted for the role.

Q: How would you describe that key character?

A: In The Last House on the Left I was not only interested in exploring the darker side of good people, but also the lighter side of bad people. And Krug is a broken man that will eventually loose the respect of everyone that’s on his side, including himself. He is kind of a dying soul by the time he goes into that house, while desperately trying to act like he’s normal; but he knows he isn’t.

Q: Then you have Sara Paxton playing Mari, the opposite pole to Krug and probably the most pure and innocent character in the film. And the truth is that she also delivers an extraordinary and mature performance -especially for someone that young!

A: There is a moment where this massive change that had to take place for her was just on her face in the most miraculous way without a word being spoken. It is the most stunning shot I have seen in a movie for a long time.

Q: Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter are great as Mari’s parents.

A: They work very well as a couple, and the look on their faces when he tells her that they have to do anything to save their daughter is really extraordinary!

Q: But The Last House on the Left also has some beautiful and delicate moments.

A: Yes, and you may think they have nothing to do with the film, though the truth is that they do; which is something I give the director credit for.

Q: Would you have directed this movie differently?

A: I think Dennis has done a great job; and even though there are things I probably would have done differently, I look at the film and recognize he has something special. He has elevated the movie to a remarkable level.

Q: In other films you have successfully blended terror with humor, but here you have chosen not to go down that road.

A: I think you have a moral fortitude in a film like The Last House on the Left to keep it serious, because it is so intense. And you need to be able to go inside yourself to find those dark places and be willing to put them out there.

Q: What was the energy like on set?

A: On set we didn’t take ourselves that seriously…

Q: Being such a sensitive and soft-spoken man, how do you come up with these horrific stories?

A: I have been badly frightened in my life. My father was very scary and I grew up during World War II, in a very violent world. And I went to tough schools, where people carried guns and knives, even though I was a sensitive kid. I think that precisely horror directors are not the ones that are monsters, but just little kids that are scared and get to exorcise their demons in this way. A cinema is the perfect place to let them out, as it is safe and nobody gets hurt; which is something that in a way has been going on in the Arts since the Greek theatre. But you need to let them out, because if you don’t they could come out the wrong way. It’s always the boy scout who climbs a tower and starts shooting people with a rifle.

Q: What should we expect from the DVD release of the The Last House on the Left?

A: A lot! There are things that Dennis had to cut out in the theatrical movie that will be included. It should be very interesting.

Q: How do DVD’s help us view films we hadn’t been able to see yet, or rediscover and learn more about the ones we like?

A: DVD’s help us enormously. And in a way they take anybody who has the time and willingness to see them to film school on your movie. The commentaries are very helpful, because people can learn what you went through and were thinking of when you made the film. And you also get a sense of how hard it really is to shoot a movie; even for the filmmakers you believed had mastered the art. Some DVD’s can be really enlightening!


To be in with a chance of winning one of x3 copies of this fantastic DVD for yourself simply leave us a comment below telling us what your favourite Wes Craven film is and why!

Closes October 30th 2009

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  • A nightmare on elm st, especially when the girl gets dragged through the front door window at the end, a make you jump ending

  • It’s hard to choose just one! It would have to be Scream because it’s funny and scary and it helped re-invent horror.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street manages to still be scary after 20 years, and was probably much more so at that time. The film has not worn well and looks dated, and it’s not just the hair. Although it is part of the eighties horror revival it is not the best example of a classic from this time, with The Evil Dead and Friday the 13th more likely candidates. The plot, about a child murderer stalking teenagers in his dreams is effective enough, and better thought out than most teen horror flicks of the eighties. The acting is average with Ronee Blakley being out-acted by an obviously blow-up job at the finale. It is laughable at times and this is not deliberate, recaling Freddy’s extendable arms. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is a cunning twist on the genre and the Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince song ‘A Nightmare on My Street’ is also amusing.

  • definitely A Nightmare on Elm Street. Nobody can hear the name Freddy Krueger without a shiver running down their spine!

  • My fave Wes Craven film is Scream. It was the first film I seen that killed what I assumed would be a major character off in the first few minutes. I couldnt believe it! I loved all the twists and turns that kept me guessing till the end. Loved it.

  • Nightmare on Elm Street was Wes Craven best film loved the way he continued to make them go on & on!
    Great action with fab effects!

  • I agree with Korky A Nightmare on Elm Street, is my favorite Wes Craven film, the plot was easy to follow and what made it more frightening was the storyline was so believable

    didn’t care much for the follow ups as the story lines and plots where not as good as the original!

  • Red Eye is good – Cillian Murphy was really well cast and I love trying to figure out what you really would do in that situation!

  • Definately Nightmare on Elm Street… the first one. Loved it when I was younger and still like watching it now. Freddy creeps me out! Love it though! One, two Freddys coming for you!

  • Wes Craven is the master of horror films love all of them but the Nightmare on Elm Street are the best, all ways have to peel me off the ceiling at the end they scare me senseless

  • I agree with korky – Nightmare on Elm Street is an absiolute classic (and to this day I can’t think of that rhyme – one two buckle your shoe – without getting goosebumps and looking over my shoulder!)

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street. My brother is 3 years older than me. I can remember him watching this when I was about 15 and I was very scared. Have never been able to watch these kind of films since.

  • wes cravens “the people under the stairs” couldnt sleep properly for weeks after watching it , i kept getting out of bed and checking the back door was locked lol

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