Last House on the Left (1972)

Last House on the Left is a great horror movie of the 1970s that feels like a commentary in the disappointments of the hopeful 1960s.

The directorial debut of future Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street icon Wes Craven, Last House on the Left is a difficult-to-watch story of two young women who are terrorized by escaped convicts. Eventually, parents seek vengeance. But before that you have to sit though a deeply unpleasant scene where the convicts treat the women horribly, and one walks hopelessly into water to die, rather than let it go on any longer.

It’s loosely based on Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, and carried the infamous tagline, “To avoid fainting, keep repeating, ‘It’s only a movie … Only a movie … Only a movie …'”

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