Of the many horror movie remakes produced the last decade I Spit On Your Grave is a strange pick. Slaughtered by critics and not a big success this low budget movie became infamous due to its exploitative plot, graphic depiction of a 40 minute rape scene and gruesome revenge by the rape victim. Over the years it became somewhat of a cult classic due to it being banned in more countries than it was actually allowed but the audience that actually heard or is known with this movie is still pretty small. So with no real fan base and being only known with a small crowd I can only guess to what the motive would be to remake this movie? Try to generate the same controversy and hope it sells tickets?
Most probably, but it could also be that the teams anted to take the original and upgrade with a bigger budget for a new generation, because other than a pretty good pacing the original movie is really a bad looking movie featuring cheap cinematography and bad acting. Though in terms of story/gore I found it not to be as shocking as I was basically promised by the critics.
Unlike several other remakes I Spit On Your Grave stays close to the source material, so close that at one point I got the idea I really watching a remake like Gus Van Sant’s version of Psycho. The plot of the original was pretty bare bones;a young female good-looking writer named Jessica Hills plans to write a novel in a secluded cabin when a couple of young men, of which one is a retard, show up and brutally rape her and leave her for dead. Weeks later it turns out she survived and kills the guys one by one. These two sentences sum up the entire movie and that isn’t spoiling anything because the original poster already did that for me. It clearly states “this woman has just cut, chopped, broken, and burned five men beyond recognition…”
And while we’re on the subject of the poster…
The poster did help a lot in the damnation of this movie. It features the backside of a scantily dressed woman wearing a knife. It’s somewhat of an erotic picture as no violence is actually depicted aside from a couple of visible bruises. This ups the sleaze factor a lot of course, and in both versions the poster does serve as an appetizer of what is to come as the victim is clearly presented as a lust object by having her dress as minimal as possible. In the 2010 version the camera covers her body closely, her outfit to work out in is nothing more than a couple of really tight shorts and a top that is basically an undercover bra. An outfit that makes every guy’s heads turn around.
The changes made to this movie are really small. The group of four young men is now enforced by a local sheriff and the second half uses a different way for the victim to execute her revenge. All the other changes are minor updates to make the movie look more actual. The usual technology advances for instance. The book is now written on a laptop and she has a cellular phone which actually can get a signal in the middle of nowhere. Now there’s a first in recent horror movies. One of the rapists films everything on his digital movie camera. But mostly there’s nothing new than having a higher budget which automatically results in a good looking movie. Not the shabby video quality the original has.
Sadly the changes made to the second part of the movie, the part where she executes her revenge, derail the movie. In the original she came back and convinced her assailants one at a time that she actually enjoyed the brutal gang bang and wanted more sex. With the men at their weakest moment she killed them, mostly after maiming them first. The remake removes the whole seduction part. Understandable because it was a bit silly that these rednecks came eye to eye with a girl they abused and believed that she wanted more sex from them, but in the remake it is expected from us to believe that after falling in a small river she survives in the woods for four weeks hiding out in a cabin and hunting animals to feed on. Also in these few weeks she apparently masters the art of torture and as a female John Rambo entraps all the guys one by one after which they get a treatment Jigsaw could learn something from. The torment she executes on her attackers is gruesome, actually so gruesome I wasn’t rooting for her. That’s the problem I have with this movie. It advocates that and eye for an eye is the way to go. Well she takes more than just an eye as she’s still alive, her attackers all aren’t. One of her attackers was a mentally challenged man who was as much a victim of the whole ordeal as she was, yet is he isn’t spared in either version.
The rape itself isn’t as brutally filmed as it was in the original, but it still is an unpleasant view. After four weeks she reappears to start her revenge, but she could go to the nearest by village and press charges. She knows in which village the sheriff works, just go to the next. She chooses to take matter in her own hands and where most revenge flicks have the antihero kill people only when someone he loved was killed first, this movie has the antihero first torture her attackers before they die of their wounds. The murders on display here are slow and gruesome, which is why they don’t generate a feeling of justice like they should. These are rapists, if you want to have an eye for an eye you should fly in 10 big blacks and have them get medieval on their asses. Literally.
In the original movie the men were killed after falling for a fake seduction tactic. These men deserve it, not for merely the rape but rather for being so stupid. The men in the remake deserve to be punished, but not torture until death follows.
While looking way better than the original movie, and having better actors, the movie makes little use of music and keeps it as realistic as possible. Though close to the original I don’t see how this movie could nowadays stir up any controversy. It’s more simplistic than similar movies like Eden Lake and the remake of The Last House On The Left but it clearly isn’t as shocking as the original apparently was. Not even having basically the same poster will change that. Too bad the remake once more does not show as any aftermath. I am really curious what will happen to someone who does kill 5 men, one a retard and one a town sheriff in really gruesome ways.