Tuesday, September 3, 2013

#1,114. I Spit on your Grave (2010)

Directed By: Steven R. Monroe

Starring: Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard

Tag line: "It's Date Night"

Trivia: After casting was completed, the actors had only two weeks to prepare for the shoot

A remake of the notorious 1978 movie, in which a woman who’s rented a house for the summer is brutally raped by some local thugs, 2010’s I Spit on your Grave is every bit as shocking as its predecessor. But where the ’78 film focused more on the violence against its lead character, its remake lingers on the revenge aspect of the story, which, at times, is just as disturbing.

The plot is similar to that of the original: Writer Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) rents a secluded house in the middle of nowhere, attracting the attention of gas station attendant Johnny (Jeff Branson). When Jennifer rejects his advances, Johnny and his pals Andy (Rodney Eastman), Stanley (Daniel Franzese), and the mentally slow Matthew (Chad Lindberg) decide to teach her a lesson by breaking into her house and terrorizing her. Jennifer eventually escapes, making her way to the local sheriff (Andrew Howard), but her night of terror is only beginning. After being repeatedly raped and left for dead, Jennifer plots her revenge against Johnny and his cohorts, which she will exact with deadly precision.

Whereas the original was more concerned with making an audience understand the trauma that drove its lead character to take matters into her own hands (its extended rape sequence was so troubling that, on several occasions, I had to look away), 2010’s I Spit on your Grave takes a more cinematic approach to the story, abandoning the realistic feel of that movie’s later scenes in favor of some creative (and incredibly violent) revenge sequences. To avoid spoilers, I won’t go into too much detail, but will tell you that, when Jennifer finally puts her plan into motion, the results are pretty intense (one of her assailants has a nasty run-in with a tub full of lye, while another is tortured with some fish hooks and a few very hungry birds).

Like the first film, the remake is sometimes hard to watch (its rape scene is just as horrifying as the original’s), with plenty of moments designed to shock the hell out of you. But if you’re up to the challenge, 2010’s I Spit on your Grave is well-made, well-acted, and well worth checking out.

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