I Spit On Your Grave (2010)

Posted: February 16, 2011 in Movies

Most of you my age will remember the original version of this film. It was my first experience with any type of horror movie, and I have been twisted just a bit since first viewing it. The original went on to “cult classic” status – so when I realized this movie had been remade, it immediately hit “must see” status.

As with Meir Zarchi’s 1978 original, the 2010 remake of I Spit On Your Grave tells the simple story of a woman named Jennifer Hills who gets savagely gang-raped at her summer home in the country and then goes on a brutal revenge spree against her attackers. I found the new version somewhat less satisfying as a film, but as an eyeballs-deep wallow in utter, sadistic depravity, it takes the bloody brass ring.

Judging from the “Dukes of Hazzard” accents, the location seems to have been switched from Yankie Land to somewhere way down South, where most of the demented yokels of moviedom seem to live these days. (Naturally, one of them wears a Confederate flag bandana on his head.) Another big difference is that Zarchi’s film took the time to establish a deceptively tranquil mood before shattering it, with Jennifer’s sense of security and well-being robbed along with everything else.

Here, the music sets an ominous tone right off the bat, and Jennifer (Sarah Butler) is edgy and uncomfortable with her surroundings as soon as she arrives in the remote community. What follows is the nocturnal home invasion which becomes the basis for Jennifer’s inevitable revenge, with writer Stuart Morse pulling out all the stops to make these guys as unforgivably reprehensible as possible. As with Zarchi’s film, the sequence is designed to justify the filmmakers’ indulgence in extreme violence against the rapists later on. Still, it lacks the lingering impact and immediacy of the original (not to mention Camille Keaton’s searingly realistic performance) and seems almost by-the-numbers, as though the film can’t wait to get it over with and fast-forward to the juicy revenge stuff.

The second half of the original movie is positively sedate compared to this one, which is pretty much a torture porn free-for-all. The filmmakers go all out to surpass the 1978 version by taking it to a new level that’s beyond gratuitous, and whether you’re rooting for Jennifer or just turned on by this kind of stuff, the cumulative payoff is pretty intense. If you fit into neither category, then you’re probably watching the way wrong movie. Hard to believe that anything could make the 1978 version look like a model of restraint in comparison, but the no-holds-barred (and, let’s face it, repulsive) remake manages to do so. While it fails to surpass the original in some ways, fans of brutal cinematic sadism (ala Hostel) and extreme gore definitely won’t be disappointed.

Very adult subject matter, and definitely not for the squeamish…

IMBD: Link | Download (AVI): Part 1 | Part 2


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