Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David DeFalco|
|Produced by||Steven Jay Bernheim|
|Written by||David DeFalco|
|Edited by||Peter Devaney Flanagan|
|Distributed by||Dominion Entertainment|
|Budget||$1 million[better source needed]|
Chaos is a 2005 American horror film about the rape and murder of two adolescent girls. It is an unofficial remake of Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left, with all character names changed and a different ending. It stars Kevin Gage and was written and directed by David DeFalco. The film received negative reviews.
While living at her parents' mountain home, Emily (Degroat) is visited by her friend Angelica (Barovich), who invites her to a rave party in the woods. Her interracial parents, Leo (Richards) and Justine (Lacey), let her attend under the condition that she must return by midnight or call if she's going to be late.
Arriving early at the party, Angelica immediately attempts to acquire ecstasy and suspects an attendee named Swan (Stallone) is carrying the drug. When asked about it, Swan informs the two girls that he doesn't have any ecstasy on him, but he has it in a nearby cabin, where his friends live. He invites Emily and Angelica to come to the cabin with him and meet his friends; the two agree. Unknown to the girls, Swan's friends are actually his father Chaos (Gage), a notorious and wanted criminal, and his father's gang, which consists of Chaos's girlfriend Daisy (Quann) and felon Frankie (Wozniak). Chaos had sent his son to the party in order to lure unsuspecting women.
Upon their arrival at the cabin, Emily and Angelica are quickly captured by the gang and taken to an abandoned part of the woods. The girls manage to escape from their captors and split up in an attempt to make it harder for Chaos and his gang to find them. Angelica is ultimately caught by Daisy and brought before Chaos, who cuts off one of her nipples and force-feeds it to her, making her vomit, before he stabs her to death, and then proceeds to violate her corpse. Chaos and his group continue their pursuit of Emily, even as the sun sets. They briefly re-encounter her, but Emily manages to steal Daisy's knife in a struggle and stabs Swan in the genitals. Knowing his wound is fatal, Chaos suffocates his son and promises to murder Emily.
Meanwhile, Justine becomes nervous about Emily's whereabouts when she doesn't answer her phone and convinces Leo to call the police. However, Justine suspects that MacDunner (Medlock), the investigating officer, won't attempt to find her because he's a racist who can barely contain his contempt for them. Justine and Leo head into the woods to search for Angelica and Emily by themselves. While searching for Emily, the couple find Angelica's corpse. Chaos and Frankie finally recapture Emily and bind her with rope. In retaliation for his son's death, Chaos uses his knife to slash Emily between her anus and genitals, watching as she bleeds to death and lamenting that he left her in no condition to be raped like he did Angelica. With both girls dead, the gang prepares to leave the area, but Chaos's van fails to start up. Knowing that they'll be caught if they stay in the woods, Chaos and his gang leave the vehicle and look for a car to steal. Their van is then found by MacDunner and his partner Wilson (Barrows), who discover blood-stained clothes.
The gang decides to go to a nearby house, with the intent of stealing the owner's car, unaware that they have arrived at Emily's home. Leo lets Chaos and his group stay at the home, but notices that Daisy is wearing Emily's belt. Suspecting the group of being involved with Emily's disappearance, Leo calls the police, while Chaos and Frankie prepare to hot-wire his car and kill the couple.
Chaos is confronted by a shotgun-wielding Leo, determined to find out what happened to his daughter. When Frankie arrives with a captured Justine, Chaos disarms Leo and takes the shotgun. Instead of shooting Leo and Justine, however, Chaos shoots Daisy when she tries to persuade him to leave the house. In the ensuing confusion, the couple escape. Leo emerges with a chainsaw and slashes Frankie across the stomach, then attacks Chaos. In the ensuing struggle, Leo manages to get the shotgun back from Chaos and prepares to kill him. Before he can, MacDunner arrives and orders Leo to drop his weapon. When Leo hesitates, MacDunner fatally shoots him. Justine retaliates by grabbing Wilson's gun and shooting MacDunner in the back. Wilson disarms Justine, at which point he is shot by Chaos, who then shoots Justine. Chaos's laughter is heard over the closing credits.
On Rotten Tomatoes Chaos has a 5% rating based on reviews from 19 critics. On Metacritic the film has a score of 1 out of 100 based on reviews from 9 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike". making it one of the worst reviewed films on their site.
Joshua Land of The Village Voice wrote, "The reference point is obviously Wes Craven's Last House on the Left, but Chaos lacks the audience-implicating boldness or howling political outrage of that landmark; where Last House was provocative, Chaos is merely disgusting."
The sole positive review for both Rotten Tomatoes' and Metacritic's listings came from Ken Fox of TV Guide's Movie Guide, who gave it 2½ out of 4 stars and said, "Unlike so many other Last House on the Left rip-offs, this virtual remake is reasonably well shot and convincingly acted."
Chaos received some publicity from Roger Ebert's zero star review and the filmmaker's response. Ebert wrote in his initial review that "Chaos is ugly, nihilistic, and cruel – a film I regret having seen. I urge you to avoid it. Don't make the mistake of thinking it's 'only' a horror film, or a slasher film. It is an exercise in heartless cruelty and it ends with careless brutality."
DeFalco responded with a full page letter in the Chicago Sun-Times, saying in part, "Mr. Ebert, how do you want 21st century evil to be portrayed in film and in the media? Tame and sanitized? Titillating and exploitive? Or do you want evil portrayed as it really is? 'Ugly, nihilistic and cruel', as you say our film does it?"
Ebert replied to DeFalco in the article "Evil in film: To what end?", with "In a time of dismay and dread, is it admirable for filmmakers to depict pure evil? Have 9/11, suicide bombers, serial killers and kidnappings created a world in which the response of the artist must be nihilistic and hopeless? At the end of your film, after the other characters have been killed in sadistic and gruesome ways, the only survivor is the one who is evil incarnate, and we hear his cold laughter under a screen that has gone dark. [...] Your answer, that the world is evil and therefore it is your responsibility to reflect it, is no answer at all, but a surrender." Ebert also argued that, "Your real purpose in making Chaos, I suspect, was not to educate, but to create a scandal that would draw an audience. There's always money to be made by going further and being more shocking. Sometimes there is also art to be found in that direction, but not this time."