It’s a difficult thing to review a movie like I Spit On Your Grave 2. On one hand, I’m a life long horror fan who is always impressed when a film gets an emotional response out of me, and quite frankly that’s the easiest and simplest way to sum up the movie. I Spit On your Grave 2 is designed, as if by cruel life-destroying scientists, to challenge your emotions and morals when it comes to the nature of revenge and justice.
I don’t mean to get all Armond White on you here, so I’ll acknowledge I could be biased in my assessment of the film and my interpretation of this movie. That being said, I’m positive this film warrants some merit and consideration beyond the bargain bin at your local Best Buy. It’s no Citizen Kane, but as a revenge film, it’s very effective in establishing the kinds of characters we come to expect from these movies. The revenge movie has a series of tropes and this film follows along. The Victim, The Victimizer, and the Outside Force attempting to make due between the competing nature of violence that ensues with predator and prey. I’m not gonna bury the lead here, it’s a fairly simplistic revenge film, but it does a few things right, and adds one scene and bit of commentary that brings an otherwise relatively bland update into something special.
I Spit On Your Grave 2 is an obviously titled sequel to 2009’s I Spit On Your Grave. It’s not really so much a sequel as another remake. I suppose there is some tangible link between the two, but it seems fairly insignificant to me and would miss the point. It’s basically just a sequel that makes a better remake than the original remake. Which is a strange and confusing sentence to type.
Let’s get this thorn out of the way first, I Spit On Your Grave 2 is a violent, horrific film, just like the rest of the series, starting with the first ISOYG in 1978. Similarly to any of the other films in the series, if you’re at all a victim of abuse it’s certainly difficult to watch, which is the point. I think these movies are ultimately a way to make male viewers empathize and try to understand the cycle of violence and abuse that’s perpetuated not only by the act of revenge, but on each other as people. In the past, previous ISOYG films all featured the same setup: Girl gets kidnapped, girl gets brutally raped and tortured and left for dead, and the last act is her exacting revenge on them. After she kills everyone, she wins and the movie is over, You’re left to ponder the meaning of revenge and justice. The 2010 remake was just a bargain basement torture porn cash in that had some good technical effects, decent acting and creative death scenes. Sometimes as a horror fan, that’s all you ask for, but ISOYG 2 is different.
It’s a unique series because of it’s history as being pro-feminist, and honestly I get it. It’s a movie (and series of movies) that promote the idea of a woman being victimized horrifically, realizing nobody will save her, and instead of giving up she self actualizes and saves herself, then enacts revenge. It’s an admittedly weird, convoluted and bizarre context to portray that message, but nevertheless it is still there. The real twist this film brings to the table is a predictable reveal of who the “head honcho” is, which I can’t reveal without spoiling the film. Suffice to say, it’ll give you some thoughts about how misogyny and femicide are ideas perpetuated by all sexes, but really, it’s the men who deserve to be punished for it. Punished for it with their balls. Their dong meat. Their waggling baby sausage of love. Their HATE WORM.
What? Right. Anyway, the movie is food for thought, or you can just watch it and enjoy it as the sick horror movie loving scumbag I am. Either way, I wasn’t bored watching it, which is ultimately the highest compliment you can give a film these days. Right?
Images: Cinemagic, Anchor Bay Entertainment