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Review: I Spit On Your Grave 2010 (Fantasia)

Jul. 13, 2010by: Chris Bumbray
100%

 

Plot: Jennifer (Sarah Butler) is a young novelist looking to spend a few months secluded at a remote cabin deep in the south in order to work on her next novel. A group of local bullies, led by a sadistic sheriff, brutally rape and beat her. She manages to escape their clutches, and returns to kill them all.

Review: First thing’s first- I’ve never seen the original I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, nor do I ever intend to. While I love lean seventies thrillers (like STRAW DOGS, RACE WITH THE DEVIL, etc), the little I’ve seen of the original I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE makes me very uncomfortable. Now, I don’t want it to seem like I’m adopting some kind of moral high ground. I’m not, nor am I a prude. I’m just a bit of a wimp when it comes to films with hardcore, excruciatingly lengthy rape scenes. I wasn’t able to get through IRREVERSIBLE, and hearing how brutal the original I SPIT was, I had my doubts as to whether or not I’d even be able to sit through this film.

 

Despite my reluctance to see this, I actually enjoyed I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2010, a whole lot more than I did the recent LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake (although I must admit I enjoyed THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake). Considering the fact that it was a low budget affair (reportedly a mere 1.5 Million), I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE looks like it cost at least ten times that. It has a rich, polished look- which might actually be a shortcoming to some hoping for a grittier approach, but worked for me.

However, that’s not to say the film lacks grit. The rape sequence is absolutely horrific (although supposedly much tamer than the one in the original film), running a rough ten minutes or so- which was almost too much for me, but luckily just managed to avoid crossing the line that would have had me bolt from the theater. Once it comes to the revenge killings, well- let’s just say there’s a reason Anchor Bay’s decided to forgo an MPAA rating, in favor of releasing this unrated. The killings are creative, and unbelievably gruesome, although considering what our heroine’s gone through, you may find yourself cheering her on.

Another thing that works in this film’s favor is the excellent cast, comprised of virtual unknowns. In the lead, Sarah Butler is quite good. It’s a difficult role, as she has to start the movie as a relatively fresh faced, smart young woman- who, over the course of the film, is broken and reshaped into a stone cold killer, who’ll likely never be able to reclaim the life she had before the attack. By the time this is over, Jennifer is for all intents and purposes, dead- and Butler does an excellent job conveying this.

As the psychos that attack her, Daniel Franzese, Chad Lindberg, Rodney Eastman (of NIGHTAMRE ON ELM STREET 3-4 fame), Jeff Branson, and Andrew Howard are all excellent. Lindberg’s probably the most familiar face, with him previously playing one of Vin Diesel’s sidekicks in the original THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS. Here, he plays the only member of the gang that assaults Jennifer that manages to be somewhat sympathetic, as he’s supposed to be mentally handicapped, and forced into participating by the gang that bullies him.

The other gang member that really impresses is Jeff Branson, as the ringleader- who fancies himself a ladies man. Jennifer’s initial rejection of him is what leads the guys into attacking her, and Branson is absolutely repellent in the role- and I mean that as a compliment, as that’s obviously exactly what he was going for.

Probably the most interesting role goes to Howard, who plays the sheriff that joins the gang in their attack of Jennifer. Supposedly, his character is a new addition, and I found him very interesting. He plays a guy who, despite his sadism towards Jennifer, actually seems to be a loving family man, with a pregnant wife, and adoring daughter at home. In a disturbing scene, he takes a call from his daughter, while viciously brutalizing Jennifer. It makes a frightening contrast, and his subplot is a fascinating addition to the film, and one that gives this film an identity of it’s own outside being a mere remake.

Overall, I was very impressed with I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2010. While it’s not really something I can see myself revisiting any time soon, it’s a solid, well made film that should please hardcore horror fans.

Grade: 7/10

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6:26PM on 07/13/2010
good review....i was at the same fantasia showing as well. Good film, i enjoyed it much more than i had expected. I agree with pretty much everything you mentioned, very well polished film, the rape scene was cut just in time, cause i was starting to get irritated as well. It was effective as i found myself cheering her on as she destroyed the rapist pigs. Overall very enjoyable movie, and worthy of a wide release.

Ps: during the q and a with the director monroe, butler and the producer. A
good review....i was at the same fantasia showing as well. Good film, i enjoyed it much more than i had expected. I agree with pretty much everything you mentioned, very well polished film, the rape scene was cut just in time, cause i was starting to get irritated as well. It was effective as i found myself cheering her on as she destroyed the rapist pigs. Overall very enjoyable movie, and worthy of a wide release.

Ps: during the q and a with the director monroe, butler and the producer. A fan of the original got up and starting bitching that it was garabge and not as good as the original. Well all i can say is that it was not like the original, and remakes are meant to be compared, i think this was a much better remake then most.
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4:50PM on 07/13/2010
Glad to hear some good news about the film. Though I was on the fence about them remaking such a controversial film (harkens back to the LHOTL remake), but as long as they are treating the material with respect, rather than for its explotative and shock factor, then I'm sure it will deliver.
Glad to hear some good news about the film. Though I was on the fence about them remaking such a controversial film (harkens back to the LHOTL remake), but as long as they are treating the material with respect, rather than for its explotative and shock factor, then I'm sure it will deliver.
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1:37PM on 07/13/2010

Looking good

I've been really interested in this film since i first heard about it, I love the original and a friend howed it to me completely uncut whic was awesome and when i saw the teaser for this i thought they got the tone right and the visuals look amazing hopefully it will be as shocking as the original
I've been really interested in this film since i first heard about it, I love the original and a friend howed it to me completely uncut whic was awesome and when i saw the teaser for this i thought they got the tone right and the visuals look amazing hopefully it will be as shocking as the original
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