Remake of rape revenge film is malevolent, vile
Starring: Sarah Butler Pitchforks: 1/2 out of 5 Rating: R (Unrated) Opens: Oct. 8
Steven R. Monroe’s “I Spit on Your Grave” is a film every bit as vile and despicable as the title suggests. This is a malevolent piece of filth that attempts to pass off the raping of an innocent woman as a good time at the movies.
One the film’s many victims is Sarah Butler, a young, attractive and talented actress, who I’m truly sorry had to endure the making of this movie. Butler plays Jennifer, a writer who rents a cabin in the middle of nowhere to work on her second novel.
A word of advice: If you’re a successful writer in search of tranquility who can afford boxes of wine and a fancy car, don’t stay at a rustic cabin that calls out “Rape Central.” Check into a hotel. You’d think after encountering a rundown shack in the woods with a stained mattress, hedge clippers and a bottle of lye inside, Jennifer would run for the hills.
But of course she stays and undergoes some of the harshest treatment any individual has ever suffered on screen.
Four men break into the cabin one night along with the local sheriff. They start off fondling Jennifer against her will. This leads to a grotesque extended sequence in which the four threaten her with a gun, cut her clothes off with scissors, drag her through the woods and take turns molesting her. Jennifer escapes against all odds and comes back at her rapists with a vengeance. Her methods of revenge involve fishhooks through eyelids, castration and worse. Some may construe this as entertainment. I call it sick, reprehensible, and unpleasant to watch.
Walking out of the film, I reflected on Niels Arden Oplev’s brilliant adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” That film featured numerous men committing heinous acts towards women, most notably one of the most graphic rape scenes ever put on film. Despite the actions of some of its male characters though, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is not a movie that hates women. Rather, it’s a movie that empowers women through its strong-willed heroine and also demonstrated that men are just as capable of compassion and love.
The focal message of “I Spit on Your Grave” is essentially that all men in this terrible world are depraved, especially those of Southern decent.
“I Spit on Your Grave” is a remake of a 1978 film by the same name. Every once in a while a horror remake comes along that really tries to improve upon the original.
Take Breck Eisner’s recent remake of “The Crazies,” for example. “The Crazies” didn’t break new grounds for the genre. However, it was a stylish and enjoyable romp that succeeded as a horror movie. “I Spit on My Grave” is not a horror movie. It’s torture porn at it’s worst that actually makes all six “Saw” movies and two “Hostel” movies look like amateur hour.
If you want to see a great horror remake currently playing in theaters, check out “Let Me In.” If you see “I Spit on Your Grave” you risk never wanting to sit through another movie again.
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