Friday, 25 May 2012

Review - I Spit on Your Grave (2010 - Dir. Steven R. Monroe)

I'm normally not that keen on remakes but I decided to give this one a go (based on the fact that I missed it due to illness at Celluliod Screams 2010, and the blu-ray was really cheap). 

Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) is an author seeking a retreat to write her new book. So off she pops for a month in a (rather large and expensive) log cabin. On the way to her residence she meets Hedgehog out of Drive and he's a lovely fellow. Also she meets a group of gentleman working at the local garage. Not very lovely fellows. She upsets Johnny (Jeff Branson) by not reacting in a positive way to one of his double-entendric advances. So him and his mates humiliate, brutalise and rape her. 

This scene is, fairly obviously, the hardest part of the film to watch. It seemed to finish and I breathed a sigh of relief that they hadn't taken it further. Ah. Wait a minute. They do. And the next section is even harder to watch. I suppose the more you hate the villains, the better the payoff later. It's still pretty excruciating, with the director lingering over the abuse to make you feel even worse. An interesting question arises because of the way that one of the rapists films the whole ordeal to watch at a later date. Are we as viewers - voyeuristically viewing the events - just as bad as him? He enjoys watching it. I didn't. There's the difference. What I enjoyed (if enjoyed is the right word) came later and believe me, the character in question didn't enjoy it.

Jennifer's inevitable, and much needed, revenge plays on the saying 'an eye for an eye'. The punishments definitely fit the crimes. Compared to earlier, these sequences are stunningly easy to watch. The look on Johnny's face at a certain point is priceless, warranting a little cheer. There's nothing massively graphic here and we are spared seeing some of the wince-inducing moments in full graphic detail.

I Spit on Your Grave is surprisingly well-made. The cinematography is great, nothing wrong with the direction and editing. The acting stood out for me. Everyone was very convincing in what must have been some very difficult to film scenes. Sarah Butler accurately portrays Jennifer's descent into suicidal tendencies and then a detached madness. A particular mention should also go to Andrew Howard, who plays a very nasty little fellow in this film.

Unlike most remakes I watch, I can't compare this to the original because I haven't seen it (never really fancied it). So watching I Spit on Your Grave without any preconceptions left me able to judge it on its own merits. 


If you like this you could also try:
Martyrs, The Woman, The Last House on the Left.


  1. I've got to say it doesn't sound promising, but I'll give it a go next week. On paper it sounds worse than martyrs.

    1. I'm not entirely sure you'll like it but get past the gruelling first half and you might find a modicum of enjoyment.

  2. I've watched it and it's bad, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I enjoyed the second half, but like you found the abuse scenes difficult to watch (i did some work at the same time to occupy me). However, it's actually a really well made film and the acting, especially from Sarah Butler, is amazing. Not my kind of thing though and I'm hoping for better from Brotherhood of the Wolf today.

    1. I was surprised at how well made it was. But Brotherhood of the Wolf is way better.