Last House on the Left

Ten minutes into this puke-slick remake of Wes Craven's infamous 1972 revenge classic on rape, torture and murder, I knew this crapathon would give Watchmen a run for its money as this weekend's top box-office bell ringer. Such is the debased state of American moviegoing barely three months into the new year, a time when profits soar and taste sinks to sewage levels. Craven, influenced by Ingmar Bergman's Virgin Spring and the real-life Charles Manson murders, found creative ways to plumb the dark depths of human nature. And he did it with no cash. Remake director Dennis Iliadis, with a studio budget and a galling, glib cynicism, is merely cashing in. So when a fate worse than death befalls young Mari (Sara Paxton) at the hands of creeps, and her parents (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter) predictably seek vengeance, audiences with a brain cell left have only one choice: Look for the first exit on the right.