The Virgin Spring (nee Jungfrukällan) 1960
Director Ingmar Bergman
Writer Ulla Isaksson
Starring Max Von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson
synopsis (by the Woman): extremely devout couple sends their very treasured, spoiled, virginal only daughter out to bring the candles for easter mass to the church. the church is a whole days ride away, and on her pilgrimage she comes across a trio of "herders". they trick her, rape her, and bludgeon her to death. they later stumble upon her parents house where they seek refuge from the wintery nordic weather. vengence ensues. religion is questioned.
Not being nearly the student of film I might make myself out to be, I don't know if this movie contains the first iteration of its plot. Similarly, I don't know if there are any steps between this film and "Last House on the Left. Though I saw the later one first (because I'd heard that it was actually moving in addition to being gory) I found this movie to have a much greater effect.
Showing the family in a spartan lifestyle and showing their interactions and faults sets the stage for what's to come in a subtle manner. While the faith of each "good" character ends up as the driving force of their actions, it's clear from relatively sparse dialog that each is a real person rather than a strawman or stereotype.
Each of the violent scenes is slightly more explicit than I would have expected. And the end, which contains the most beautiful imagery in a movie filled with unpretensiously great photography and direction, left me with a palpable feeling of the despair experienced by those left standing... and the despair which will haunt the remainder of their days.
seeing the first "last house on the left" before this, i know this plot. this of course, had much more depth, and meaning to it. it focused more on the internal struggle between man and god, rather than the horrible torture and vengeance aspect.
it also makes me think about the remake of "last house on the left" and "multiplicity" at the same time. unfortunately, the copy of a copy, while making "multiplicity" have a only couple funny parts, makes me think that the remake of "last house on the left" is only mentally challenged.