johnlink ranks I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010)

I’ve been honestly avoiding this one for awhile. I am not a fan of the rape-horror genre. I did see the original many years ago and thought it was pure exploitation. I had heard, fleetingly, that this new one tries to be more of a modern horror story. I gave it a shot, though really wasn’t sure going in.

I-Spit-on-Your-Grave

I watched I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) on 10.8.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

Jennifer (Sarah Butler) is a young woman who has rented a cabin for a couple of months in order to get away and write. She meets a young southern man, Johnny (Jeff Branson) at a gas station. He decides, with his friends, to assault her a few days later. She gets away into the arms of a Sheriff (Andrew Howard) who is, in the most obvious plot twist of all time, just as bad as the boys. When the assault/rape scene is over we are a full 50+ minutes into this film. The movie, directed by Steven R. Monroe, takes a long time to let the attack play out. There is nothing gentle about it, nothing hidden. It is an unforgiving depiction of a terrible rape on film. He avoids being too exploitative, there is not a sensual thing about the scene. But, it is unnecessarily long.

The point, if you wish to defend it, is that the attack sets up a horrible circumstance for the young woman to come back from and get revenge on her attackers. There is a long 30 minute gap after the assault wherein the men try and find her body and start accusing each other of screwing around and messing with their heads. Only, we know, Jennifer is actually waiting in the wings. The last 30 minutes of this film is her exacting her revenge.

It is in that formula, among other things, that this film fails. After the assault there is absolutely no danger for Jennifer whatsoever. She merely stalks and systematically eradicates the men. As an audience, we are asked to first watch her be raped and then be overjoyed with her as she murders everyone. This is the formula the original film leaned on back in the late 70s, and there is nothing (save an extended timeline of events) updated for the modern film. Instead, the killings are supposed to be cathartic for us, as if it makes it okay that we just watched a brutal depiction of rape.

For me, anyway, there is neither art nor entertainment in such an endeavor. This is a joyless film. This is a humorless film. It is a cynical movie which looks at southerners as city hating hicks who will rape because they are bored. There is not a character who exists to offset this notion. Sure the Sheriff has a pregnant wife and young daughter, but their naivete comes across as equally disgusting. They aren’t treated as victims here, we don’t see the aftermath for them.

I’m sure some people out there find some value in a movie like this. I can say that the acting is good. There are not moments which pull you from the sick reality the film has created. Sarah Butler, particularly, in a role that must have been terrible to play, comes across as an actress with real ability. But is this worth watching for the performances? Absolutely not.

The technical aspects of the filmmaking are sound, but any value there is negated by the cynicism the film is permeated with. Nice shots don’t make up for terrible morality.

If this is your movie, more power to you. I won’t hold it against you. But it sure ain’t mine. This genre can be done with more power. Another remake of a similarly themed film, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, is a much better example of how to make this kind of a movie.

SCORES

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 3; ACTING: 8; WRITING: 2

3+3+8+2+0=16

FINAL SCORE: 4 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on October 9, 2014.

2 Responses to “johnlink ranks I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010)”

  1. I will agree that the movie does nothing except to show some gore and violence, and I love it for doing that. There is really nothing else going for it. Yeah the remake of Last House on The Left was better then this one. Good review

    • I don’t mind the gore and violence. The second half of them film was going quite well until she started getting her revenge. Then, there was no tension because she was never in danger. Everything just went to plan I just thought there was more potential there.
      All that said, I’ll probably still see the sequel, haha.

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