Reel Shorts | Witch Mountain | Last House

13 03 2009

While we constantly assault the decisionmakers in Tinseltown about their lack of originality (see “Miss March“), this week in theaters filmmakers went back to the future for two stories with roots in the 1970s, with decidedly mixed results.

The Last House on the Left
Thirty seven years after writer/director Wes Craven introduced the world to the evils behind the door on the original “Last House on the Left,” comes this remake that once again follows a group of killers who terrorize two unsuspecting young girls killing one, raping the other and leaving her for dead.

To their surprise, they take refuge from a violent storm at the very home of the parents (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter), whose child was earlier assaulted by their new house-guests. Once the family put two and two together it equals three real dead bad guys who really had it coming. Overly violent and vicious, the latest incarnation of this horror classic gives the audience exactly what is looking for and much like it’s re-imagined scary film companion, “Friday the 13th, just illustrates that these new versions offer nothing but another opportunity for some greedy producers to go straight to the bank!

Grade: C-

Race to Witch Mountain
What you see is definitely what you get in the transparently entertaining sci-fi road adventure, “Race to Witch Mountain.” After a UFO crash lands outside of Sin City, Las Vegas, local authorities become suspicious of two extra-terrestrials children who hitch a ride in Vegas cabbie (Dwayne Johnson).

Pursued by mysterious government operative (Ciarán Hinds), he wants to bring the children in to prove their existence to the government. They are after a device that can save their dying planet but in addition to alluding the U.S. government they must also elude a “Terminator-like” killing machine sent from their planet trying to destroy them. Johnson pads his resume with this family-friendly adventure that pairs him with a sexy astrophysicist (Carla Gugino) and gives him another winning role. Clearly an upgrade over it’s predecessors, for family starved for quality entertainment, ain’t no “mountain” high enough to keep you from enjoying this film!

Grade: B-




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