Here we go again!
So, if you’ve seen the original, or at least read the review on this here site, you’ll know that the first incarnation of I Spit On Your Grave saw a young woman go off to the country to get some writing done, whereupon she is horribly raped, beaten, and left for dead.
Somehow managing to survive, she stalks down her four assailants and kills them, avenging herself for their terrible wrongs. Now that we’re solidly into the 21st Century, someone has seen fit to do the inevitable remake. The general gist of things remains much the same but, because this is the remake, they’ve amped things up. A lot. For starters, there’s an extra guy. As if things weren’t bad enough, right? Well, it just gets nastier and nastier.
Jennifer Hills has once more gone into the woods to work on her novel, and as before she is attacked, beaten, and brutally raped by each of her assailants, including Matthew who, same as last time, has serious mental health issues, (not to say that the other rapists don’t, of course.) Whereas in the original film we then see Jennifer recuperating at her cabin beforeembarking on her tour of death, here we follow the perpetrators instead.
This actually works quite nicely as we now see the men become her victims in a more traditional horror film style: there are strange noises.
She appears out of nowhere.
She picks them off one by one.
It’s way creepy.
Naturally, this film does suffer from a number of the same problems which afflicted the original, namely that Jennifer’s revenge is not really so empowering an exercise as an excuse for extreme brutality; that part of the viewer’s enjoyment and apprehension (this is horror of course) centres around a woman being tortured and raped by five men; and finally that the whole thing is just really bloody horrible.
So it’s not a ten out of ten for me, obviously.
Still, it’s not all bad.
Whereas the original movie set out to do something different, but actually just crapped out a big load of nasty, I Spit On Your Grave 2010 keeps it’s cool by not trying to be anything it isn’t.
This is modern American horror, torture porn to the max – a rare event of an American feature being released Unrated – and with that in mind you know what to expect. There’s plenty of imaginative hyper-Bond-villain style murder, a bit of screaming and shouting, some caricature southern hick types, and there’s a really tiny woman in the midst of it all having a terrible time.
Even the acting isn’t so bad; Sarah Butler’s performance as Jennifer is played at about the right level, and Chad Lindberg (yes, he is Ash from Supernatural!) keeps the Matthew character at a much more believable and bearable level than the original lead you to believe possible.
The impact of the rape-revenge is there if you choose to believe in it as a viable notion, allowing you some room for pathos at the end of all this misery. But if you don’t care about that, then there’s a bit where a guy’s cock gets lopped off and stuffed in his mouth.
Basically, if you like this kind of thing, you’ll like this kind of thing.