Monday, 2 June 2014

I Spit On Your Grave 2 (2013)

As soon as it was announced that a movie entitled I Spit On Your Grave 2 was being released fans of exploitation fare started to get a bad taste in their mouths. The original movie was an astonishing, powerful piece of nastiness, praised and pilloried in almost equal measure. The 2010 remake, on the other hand, was better than expected, mainly because it walked a fine line between the unpleasant aspects of the material and the fun to be had watching the leading lady get her revenge. I Spit On Your Grave 2 has nothing to appeal to fans of the previous movies, other than a title that instantly lets people know there will be rape and revenge.

Jemma Dallender plays Katie, a young woman who wants to try her hand at modelling. Her portfolio needs updating, but she can't really afford it. Well, that is until she finds an ad that offers a free photoshoot. Unfortunately, when she's at the photoshoot, Katie is asked if she wants to do some topless shots. She doesn't. And THAT starts off a chain of events that lead to her being kidnapped, raped and abused, which then leads to a vengeance-filled third act.

There's a degree of technical competence on display here, and that's the only reason that I rate this movie as highly as I do. Director Steven R. Monroe tends to keep the camera pointing in the right direction. Oh, and Jemma Dalllender does fine in the lead role, and there's one pleasingly nasty moment during the final few minutes. That's it. Three reasons to save this from the lowest score possible.

Everything else in this movie is dross. The script, by Thomas Fenton and Neil Elman, is lazy, none of the supporting cast members make a decent impression (and Joe Absolom is the worst of them all with his horrible, fake accent), and both the first and second half fail at whatever they're supposed to achieve.

It's obvious that those involved just didn't have the guts to go through with something genuinely shocking, but they should have realised that you can't make a rape revenge flick for a wide demographic. When the main abuse is either too polished, or edited in a way to make it easier to stomach, it loses a lot of its power. Watching any such abuse should make viewers uncomfortable. It's the least that any such cinematic victim deserves, because this kind of thing can't just be a plot device for a lacklustre thriller. It's not something to be used lightly, otherwise we'd end up with a situation that puts Liam Neeson in a film entitled Taken III: I Spit On Your Shamrock. Or something.

Likewise, revenge being doled out should be visceral and harsh, but also believably delivered. As sorta-decent as Dallender is, she never convinces in the second half of the movie, which leaves the revenge feeling quite flat and unentertaining (strange choice of word, but you know what I mean - it's always satisfying to see scumbags get their just desserts onscreen).

So, I think that just about sums up all of my feelings on this piece of rubbish. I know that some people will enjoy it more than I did, but I seriously doubt that this is a movie that any of us will even remember by next year.


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