The low-budget grunginess
that helped make Wes Craven's 1972 original "Last House on the Left" an unsettling memento of its era is wiped clean in Dennis Iliadis' remake--one unnecessary on every level save the paramount commercial one.
The in-your-face grunginess
of the settings and punishingly impersonal environment easily trump the occasional narrative missteps, leaving behind a document that evokes memories of the Ben Maddow-Sidney Meyers-Joseph Strick 1959 semidocu feature "The Savage Eye"--a particularly brutal (and far more contrived) look at L.
Some camerawork and editing is choppy and uncertain, but an effective grunginess
a la George Romero is the general order of the day.
Thesping is exaggerated, with Bouchard's unflagging jollity playing adequately off La Haye's finickiness and Ahmarani's grunginess
Jang Tae-hwan's art direction plausibly conjures up the train in its two time periods, and lensing by Byeon Heui-seong develops a clammy grunginess
as the yarn proceeds.
Slick production package, unimaginative shooting style and a soothing Dean Harada guitar score amount to a smoothed-over result where more grunginess
might have been more effective.
So it's really just the grunginess
of the scene, played up (or down) for all it's worth, that compels interest, and it is a sorry lot that the film's many lively actors have come aboard to play.
The overall grunginess
of tech values is altogether appropriate for a pic in which one plucky fellow consumes a snow cone soaked with his own urine--and then, of course, throws up--and another guy blithely defecates in a toilet on display in a home supply store.