In what eventually plays out like a sick and twisted version of Home Alone, The Last House on the Left toys with viewers like a kid burning ants with a magnifying glass. The suspense is thick and heavy, and the sense of dread, especially early on, is nearly suffocating.

We all, for the most part, know what is going to happen in this film by watching the trailer. Girl gets attacked by criminals, criminals stay at girl’s house, parents find out who these people are and exact revenge.

That’s OK. The beauty of this film is that even though we know what will happen, the anxiety of waiting for each beat keeps the viewer glued to the screen.

The film is a taut, suspenseful and altogether intense horror spectacular. Director Dennis Iliadis flexes his filmmaker muscles and really puts on a showcase. Acting, cinematography, editing and sound design are all surprisingly above par for a splatter film, and Iliadis deserves a pat on the back for this.

However, this is above all a horror film, not some Sundance, Little Miss Sunshine indie flick. Rest assured, horror fans, The Last House on the Left is seriously hardcore.

This is a very hard R film that, especially in the first half, has some very uncomfortable and disturbing scenes. Guys, you may want to hold off on taking the chick to this one, as there is one particular scene of feminine exploitation that is highly unsettling and hard to watch. Be warned.

If you can make it through the first half of the film (and I think there will be a fair number people who can’t), you are in for some seriously intense shit. Once the second half of the story unfolds in the family’s house, all bets are off.

Scenes play out with ludicrous amounts of tension, once again due to an excellent score and top notch editing by the men (and women) behind the camera. To say you will be on the edge of your seat is a vast and highly undeserving understatement.

Overall, The Last House on the Left is a pleasant surprise and definitely one of the better horror remakes of recent times. Be prepared for an intense, disturbing and ultimately thrilling roller coaster ride that will leave you with a grin the size of Six Flags by the time the credits roll. Bravo.

The Last House on the Left releases in theaters March 13.