There are two vocal groups about this remake – one was worried how it would rate vis-à-vis the original and the other was concerned about the violence in the film.
Two officers are transporting a criminal, Krug (Garret Dillahunt – from television’s Terminator: The Sarah Connors Chronicles) in their car when they are ambushed by the criminal’s brother, Francis (Aaron Paul – from television’s Breaking Bad), and girlfriend, Sadie (Riki Lindhome – Changeling, Million Dollar Baby). They end up killing the officers in a gruesome manner. The three outlaws are now on the run.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Mari (Sara Paxton – Sydney White, Aquamarine) and her parents, Emma (Monica Potter – Saw, Along Came a Spider) and Dr. John Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn – The Last Samurai, Kiss the Girls), are heading off on a family vacation at the cottage. Mari takes the car to go see her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac – Superbad). While meeting Paige they encounter and befriend a boy named Justin (Spencer Treat Clark – Mystic River, Gladiator). He offers Paige some weed if she’ll come back to his motel. How could a girl possibly refuse that offer?
While they are smoking up Krug, who is Justin’s father, Francis and Sadie arrive. They abduct the teenage girls. While driving in Mari’s car they crash into a tree. In retribution, Krug stabs Paige and rapes Mari. Despite all this Mari manages to escape, but as she is swimming away Krug shoots her in the back.
Krug and his gang walk down the road to the isolated Collingwood cottage and tell Emma and John they were in a car accident. Mari’s parents are quite welcoming to the motley crew until they realize what has happened to their daughter after she returns and that their guests are the cause of it.
Wes Craven, who wrote and directed the original, is a highly respected person in the horror film industry. Anytime one of his films is remade it is thrust under a microscope and scrutinized to the Nth degree. Though this is a generic horror film it is not the worst that I have seen. Actually, far from it.
While there is plenty of brutal violence in the film it has a certain “logic” (if you want to call it that) to the cause and effect path it follows. You can relate to the parents wanting to exact some sort of revenge on the criminals. You understand them going to any length to protect their already injured daughter. While you are watching it you are cheering on the parents and hoping they will make the criminals suffer. You have no moral qualms about the damage done to the bad guys.
What is sometimes hard to stomach is the realism of the violence and the rape scene. The whole film is very gritty and raw. I can see how some would have objections on that basis.