Monday 13 August 2012

I Spit On Your Grave (2010)

Another remake of an infamous horror title, for some reason this movie has a few supporters and people who reluctantly accept that it's a lot better than they thought it was going to be. Well, it's a decent revenge movie with some moments of real nastiness but it's still nowhere near as brutal as the original film and it also misses the entire point of that classic film (yes, I do think it's a classic even if it's not one for the whole family to sit down and enjoy). You see, THAT film had a woman being terrorised and brutalised and horrifically violated because of her sexuality before using that same sexuality to exact her revenge. This film has a young woman being terrorised and brutalised and horribly violated because of her sexuality becoming an efficient and skilled hunter/trapper/killer and even budding Jigsaw protege.

The basic story remains the same as it was the first time around. Young Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) heads off to an isolated cabin to get some writing done but finds herself fearing for her life when some of the local boys come around to have their fun - their idea of fun being far, far removed from any normal idea of fun. It all starts, in a way, from some joking around about getting the handicapped Matthew (Chad Lindberg) a chance to be with a woman but it soon gets even worse for young Jennifer as all of the boys decide to take their turn with her and "teach her a lesson". And the local law enforcement is worse than useless. It's up to Jennifer to keep her spirit intact and find a way to fight back.

On a technical level, everything here is just right. Steven R. Monroe does just fine in the role of director while Stuart Morse has adapted the original movie into an acceptable screenplay. There are some nice moments of tension in between that hard-hitting first half and that vigilante-centric second half but there are also one or two sassy one-liners that remind you of how removed the movie is from the essence of the original.

The acting is all pretty decent. Butler is, admittedly, pretty brave to even go near such a controversial role, while Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard, Daniel Franzese, Rodney Eastman and Chad Lindberg all do a good job of playing characters of varying degrees of unpleasantness. And Tracey Walter is enjoyable as old Earl.

There are a few moments that will certainly impress those who want something a bit stronger in their horror movies but for me, personally, the whole thing still feels sanitised and far less interesting than the original film because of that refusal to explore the real power of the sexuality at the core of the movie. Basically, it's a decent film that misses the mark by a long way.


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