The Last House on the Left

1972 UR 1h 24m DVD

The Last House on the Left

1972 UR 1h 24m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In this cult horror favorite from twisted writer-director Wes Craven, a pair of repulsive, sadistic escaped convicts kidnap, rape, torture and murder two teenage girls -- but the criminals have picked the wrong teens to victimize. One of the girls' parents, not content with turning to the law, set out to exact an equally brutal revenge on the vicious murderers, who are hiding out in the family's home.
David Hess, Sandra Cassel, Lucy Grantham, Fred J. Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler, Gaylord St. James, Cynthia Carr, Martin Kove
Wes Craven
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1, Full Screen 1.33:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
UR -
age 17+
Common Sense rating Not for kids
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that the savage violence in this film -- conveyed mainly in reaction shots and quick cutaways, but still intense -- includes close-range shooting, knifing/slashing, a castration-by-biting (you read that correctly), and an attack with a chainsaw. There is shower nudity (practically in the opening scene), and two women are terrorized at knifepoint, forced to strip and submit to rape and degrading acts. Drug use, though not really shown, is discussed frequently, and alcohol is enthusiastically consumed. The main drive of the plot is murder (committed by bereaved parents) as an act of revenge; law enforcement is not even discussed as an option, and police are depicted as bumblers anyway. A 2009 big-budget remake of this film drew more attention to the cheapie original.

Sexual Content

Intense rape-molestation scenes, mainly depicted via closeups of the faces of the marauder and the victim. A barely offscreen act of oral sex. Two young women forced to undress and embrace in a quasi-lesbian fashion. Female toplessness. Talk of sex and breast development.


Shootings, knifings, beatings, an electrocution, and bitings that leave victims bruised and bloody, climaxing in an attack with a chainsaw. One character is bitten in the penis during an act of oral sex (nothing explicit shown, but the idea is conveyed hideously). A youth shoots himself in the head. One female character is a sexually licentious plaything for a group of men; another, though married, pretends to seduce one of the villains.


God's name in vain, "s--t," "bitch," "damn," and "piss." Filmmakers drew the line at the f-word, though, using "frigging" instead.

Social Behavior

The theme is revenge, and whether those who participate in premeditated payback-killing become just as degraded and psychopathic as the worst offenders shown here. Consequently, even the "nice" parents in the movie become vicious (contrastingly, the script shows at least one of the junkie-outlaw gang that's the target of their wrath suffering because of his tortured conscience). Police are made to look like bumbling fools.


Mainly car model makes and soft-drink can labels shown. There is a natural tie-in with the 2009 remake.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Cigarette and cigar smoking, the repeated statement that one of the characters is a heroin junkie (and kept that way by his father as a means of control); he subsequently goes through vomiting and withdrawal symptoms. Underage drinking happens, and there is an attempted drug deal to obtain marijuana.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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