Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie Review: I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

I Spit on Your Grave was truly and honestly the only horror phenomenon that I thought was safe from the recent remake frenzy. And don't get me wrong, I've liked a good number of the remakes that have come out so far, it's just that I Spit seemed like the kind of movie that critics and censors wanted to forget about. But now it's back and I'm frankly a little conflicted about the outcome.

So the plot is mostly similar to the original - young, pretty writer Jennifer Hills (with almost the same hairdo, might I add) rents a cabin in the woods to write a new book. She meets up with the local hoods at the gas station, embarrasses one of the dudes and rejects his advances, so they get all testosterone rage-y and assault her in various ways one night. They think they killed her, but she survives and comes back to seek her vengeance against the attackers.

The first thing to piss me off was the country bumpkin rapists not liking Jennifer because she was a hoity toity "big city gal." Same as in the original, they say that she didn't come out to the woods to write her book, she went there to have sex. UGH. I am so sick of this plot point. The rednecks always hate the city people because they think they are all rich and snobby. So cliche. Think of something else, for the love of all that is gory.

I almost completely checked out of the movie when the sheriff becomes the main instigator of Jennifer's assault. Maybe I watch too many cop shows but I have far too much respect for police officers to accept all the sadistic, crooked, or incompetent cops that are portrayed in movies. It is 2011, people, and I don't care how backwoods someone is, it is still unbelievable to me that a sheriff would be the ringleader of a brutal gang rape and (supposed) murder.

All right, let's talk torture now, shall we? First of all, the scene at the beginning where Jennifer is running and comes across the abandoned cabin where she eventually carries out her revenge was so unnecessary. They have spooky shots of the bathtub and the hedge clippers, and I'm screaming at the TV, "STOP FORESHADOWING SO MUCH! WE GET IT!" Anyway. Overall, Jennifer's methods of torture and murder were too elaborate for me (although one could argue that she did have a whole month to plan it out), but it was a nice touch that each of the men's demises paralleled the kind of person they were or the way that they abused Jennifer.

Then again, Jennifer herself kept cheapening the moments by repeating back to the men the things they said during her assault. "I thought you were an ass man," "You said, 'Suck it bitch,'" and all that weird "show horse" crap. It became almost comical, and while you were still rooting for the assholes to die, the seriousness of the crime they committed was practically lost.

One thing that made me uncomfortable about the original was how Jennifer seduced her rapists into her revenge traps. It just never felt right and although you could say that she was being clever by catering to their misogynistic attitudes to trick them, it almost confirms their feelings that women are whores and use sex to get what they want. So I'm glad the remake had Jennifer showing up as a total badass and the men being immediately afraid of her and what she was going to do to them. I especially loved how she whacked both Andy and Stanley with a baseball bat and was able to control them both at the same time. She has the power now and that is the real message of the movie.

At times, her revenge seemed almost worse than their initial crime. Although the first rape by Matthew was incredibly brutal, I was squirming in my seat when Jennifer rammed the shotgun as hard as she could up the sheriff's ass. Speaking of this scene, just wanted to say that I know what you were doing here, filmmakers. You're trying to rival the ending to The Last House on the Left remake, aren'tcha?!

OH! Oh, oh, oh, you wanna talk about pissing me off? How about Andy's line about how after the rape, Matthew was acting all strange and as Andy says, "I think he even feels guilty." I about jumped in the TV and ripped the dude's face off. "I think he even feels guilty"??? As if there's nothing to feel guilty about. Angry Michele. Very, very angry Michele. BUT, it was the selling point in making me really enjoy the payoff of him getting his face melted off in a bathtub of lye. 

Final Thoughts:
Not gonna lie - I LOVE how they recreated the original poster art. Grey on white looks awesome for this kind of movie and is quite evocative looking.

The sheriff's daughter's name is Chastity? In a rape-revenge movie? Is that some kind of a joke?!

Meir Zarchi, the director of the original film, was executive producer on the remake. Hm.

Blogger is also pissing me off because the text is not wrapping around the pictures like I like it. Doesn't have anything to do with the movie but it does this every once in a while and it really annoys me.


  1. Great write up, I agree with you across the board. I did think that Sarah Butler did a fairly decent job in the role though.

  2. Definitely curious about this one....
    Does she chop anyone's genitals off in the remake? That scene in the original was truly traumatizing.

  3. @Daniel - Yes, I did actually enjoy Sarah Butler's performance. Just the right amount of victim and badassery.

    @Andrew - Two words: hedge clippers.

  4. I thought they did a great job up until the end, when Jennifer starts spouting out one-liners. Liked the rest of it though, way more ballsy than the Last House remake.

  5. finally I've seen it and omg, I was stunned how amazing it turned out to be.

    The original was great but it totally got outclassed by this outstanding remake. Can't fully understand why you 'dislike' it that much. In the end it's 'just' an exploitation movie, clichés and plot holes are quintessential to that genre :-)

  6. i liked the rmk much more than the original isog movie from 1978 ...

    especially where johnny treats that fucking high class snob bitch like a horse !! gotta love it <3

  7. Disappointed. I needed to have the cop know that his daughter saw the rape on the video.