Again, I'm really surprised at how much I liked this. I thought I knew exactly what I would get with a straight-to-DVD sequel to a remake of a controversial 70s exploitation flick - but I ended up being wrong in some aspects. The sequel definitely cashes in on the gritty reputation of the series, as the rape and revenge scenes are very graphic and disturbing, but somehow the feel of the story is different. I think it was the side story with the priest and the police officer that made everything a bit easier to deal with for me. It was actually wonderful to see, for once, in a rape-revenge movie that not all males are evil - that most of them would be appalled to know of the things that happened to this girl.
Jemma Dallender is absolutely wonderful in the lead role of Katie, a role that is incredibly difficult on several levels. She had to go from being a happy, normal woman, to one going through unthinkable pain and suffering, to one made almost crazy and violent by what she has been through. Her voice, especially when she is screaming, is almost child-like but at the same time so raw with emotion that it hurts to listen to her cry and scream. When she has to go into hardcore killing mode for the revenge, she excels. They also gave Dallender the same basic look that Camille Keaton made famous in the original ISPOYG - with the long, long hair parted down the middle - and I really like that as a nice homage or common thread between all the movies. The title also appears on the screen in way similar to the previous entries and that was nice to see as well.
This is all so messed up that I was somewhat pissed off that cattle prod asshole did not get the worst of Katie's revenge. Again, she does things to the perpetrators that are similar to what they did to her. The guy who pissed on her gets drowned in some more piss and shit, and that was probably my favorite one because for me, the pissing on her was almost worse than anything else that happened. As weird as that sounds, it just seems absolutely disgusting and the ultimate humiliation - a show of the character's complete lack of respect for others. Cattle prod asshole should have gotten what the leader of the rape pack got in the end - a brutal and uncut scene of his balls getting smashed in a vice. Now, how all this was accomplished by a girl living with nothing in the sewers of a foreign country is hard to believe at times, but if you're worried about that stuff by this point, you're watching the wrong movie.
I absolutely love revenge films and I have to say that I Spit on Your Grave 2 is surprisingly a nice entry into the genre. It is ultra-violent and difficult to watch, like these movies should be, but a wonderful lead actress carries the film well, and the shift in location and circumstances bring something new to the series. It is definitely not one for everyone, though, so watch at your own risk.