Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

I’ll be honest with you; I had absolutely no interest in seeing this remake. While there is no doubt that the original is a very brutal and notorious affair (so notorious, in fact, that I had avoided watching it until late last year), I had no desire to see it hashed out in a slick, Hollywood version. I’m not a huge fan of the original to begin with (no matter what anyone says it still feels misogynistic to me and I hate they didn’t spend nearly as much time on the revenge as they did the rape), so I was in no rush whatsoever to check out this remake.

Wow, sometimes I love it when I’m wrong…

If you are not familiar, the film is about a young author named Jennifer who heads out to an isolated cabin in hopes that the peace and quiet will inspire her writing. On the way there she meets some odd characters at the local gas station. These good ol’ boys give her a hard time, but she drives away thinking nothing of it. As the next few days pass and she settles in to her new location, she begins hearing strange noises at night. She doesn’t think too much of them, but one night she gets a surprise visit from the three overgrown boys from the gas station and their mentally challenged friend. They degrade and humiliate her, all while video-taping, but she manages to escape and runs into the sheriff in the woods. She tells him her story and they head back to the cabin to investigate…but the worst is yet to come. Soon, Jennifer finds herself brutalized, violated and violently gang-raped. The men leave her for dead, but soon she seeks her righteous retribution…

As you can see, this film added several new touches to the revenge story. It focuses not just on the assault and the events leading up to it, but also on the aftermath as the rapists try to cover their tracks of the crime. I liked how the latter part of the film showed us what went on with the rapists after they assumed Jennifer was dead and how events eventually led up to Jennifer’s revenge.

While this film does not skimp on the brutality of the rape, I felt it went a bit further than the original in making us feel for Jennifer. The scenes where they humiliate and belittle her in the cabin were just as hard to watch as the rape scenes were, and really got my blood boiling. By the time the guys had finished their nasty business (which is quite and endurance test), I was about ready to reach through the screen myself and attack them myself. Their characters are so vile that you just can’t help but wish the worst to befall them.

The rape scenes themselves will make your stomach churn and actress Sarah Butler, who played Jennifer, must be given mad props for so realistically portraying the victim. I also must commend the actors who played her attackers, because I doubt any of these fellas will be getting a date anytime soon!

By the time of the revenge scenes, I was just itchin’ for the villains to get their due (and hoping I wouldn’t be shortchanged like in the original). I was hoping for vast suffering for all of them, and boy, did the film deliver! I won’t give anything away, but the dudes definitely get their due!

Finally, a remake that gets it right! I Spit on Your Grave pays homage to the original while updating (hey studios, take a lesson: “updating” should not mean “dumbing down”!) and improving it. Thank you director Steven R. Monroe for giving us a fresh remake that exceeds the potential of its original source material!

If you’ve been wishy-washy on checking this one out (like I was), do yourself a favor and watch it! It is actually a great remake and also a great horror film all-around!

Order it on Amazon!

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