As if horror remakes didn’t anger people enough already, we now have a sequel to a remake. If you haven’t seen the original 1978 film I Spit On Your Grave, you’ve certainly heard of it. Carrying the dubious honor of having the longest rape scene in film history, I Spit On Your Grave seemed an unlikely candidate for a remake. Directed by Steven R. Monroe, the 2010 remake was one of those rare movies that improved upon the original. While not a sequel in the true sense, more of a franchise continuation, Monroe has given us I Spit On Your Grave 2.
This time it’s the story of Katie. A mid-west girl who has moved to New York to pursue a modeling career. The promise of a free photo shoot turns out to be so much more than Katie bargained for. After a brutal rape, Katie wakes up in a basement where she is being sold into sex slavery. As with the previous two movies, Katie is subjected to rape, torture, humiliation and severe beatings. A mistake made by her captors allows Katie to find her way to safety;rather than go home, she decides to stay and exact revenge on everyone who has wronged her.
As with the other two films, the rape scene begins to feel as if it will never end. It is unflinching, ugly and hard to watch. Jemma Dallender is a fiercely brave actress to take on this role and commit to it so fully;she delivers a tremendously fearless performance. When it comes time for the revenge portion of our rape/revenge tale, Katie is a shell of a woman with no trace of humanity left. Her anger fueled rage results in scenes of extreme violence and gratuitous gore.
What I really enjoy about Monroe’s movies, is that the revenge portion is very well thought out. Katie doesn’t just get revenge, she exacts a similar type of torture as the one that she has endured. These men do not get off easy. While the torture methods seem a bit outlandish as far as if they could actually be carried out, they are unrelenting, vicious, graphic and, ultimately, satisfying. The rape scene is so awful, that I didn’t realize how tense I had become until I began to slowly release that tension with each revenge kill. So, now I feel strangely complicit in the violence and I really don’t feel bad about it. As we dispatch the men through various methods, we encounter a public restroom that is more disgusting than the one in Trainspotting, exhibit our proficiencies in electricity and dream up a most impressive contraption involving a vice and a certain part of the male anatomy. This last bit was impressively shocking, graphic and will never be erased from my memory:much like a certain scene in Cannibal Holocaust, you have a hard time remembering that it’s not real.
If I haven’t already made it clear, this movie is not for the weak stomached or easily offended. It is, however, a very solid entry in the rape/revenge genre that is both emotionally traumatizing and strangely cathartic as well. Certainly there will be viewers who will be offended by the violence or label it as exploitative trash, but I found Ms. Dallender’s performance superb and I am not ashamed to have felt fully vested in her survival and subsequent acts of violence all in the name of revenge.