Okay, kids, just what have you been up to? I knew something like this would happen if you were left to your own devices and boredom! Is this what happens when a generation comes up not eating their vegetables and is raised on the television’s strapped-in digital penetration? For the sake of Pete, (who is actually a pretty nice cat, once you get to know him), where did this film come from?! Now, let’s make one thing clear, before I come off more puckered than I actually am. I am all for artistic expression, good story telling, convincing acting and just damn fine film making, but sometimes exceptions are made despite the presence of such traits and this one just isn’t for me, folks. I have to put my foot down at some point or another and to my mind this thing is the wet dream of a person I never want to chat over coffee with. No offense. To bring you up to speed, I am a fan of the original 1978 I Spit On Your Grave, for the reasons I just listed. It’s extremely dark, yet perfectly executed. By the standard of my living, I have not seen the “remake” that came out in 2010 and I certainly wouldn’t have given a thought to seeing this one, it just happened to fall into my lap one lazy evening and I did not control the remote. Pretty simple scenario…so is this film’s.
We have the lead, Katie, played by, Jemma Dallender, who is a young lady, oddly enough, from Missouri, living in New York and wanting to make it in the modeling world. After being told she needs a better portfolio she gets in touch with a photographer that offers a free first session. What a nice fellow, surely nothing fishy about that offer, right? So after a flashy montage, the nice man (Joe Absolom) decides he just isn’t feeling it and thinks some areola exposure will improve the situation, an offer our lead respectfully walks out on. When she is tracked down later by one of the three men that were present at the shoot, she isn’t as weirded out as she should be, which, of course, leads to the downhill scenario for this poor gal. And I mean it gets down right horrible, folks! It is at this point that the film turns into shot after shot after shot of violence and humiliation directed towards Dallender and it is, admittedly, hard to watch.
More than once, these scenes filled with violence and screaming went so long that we had to kill the sound and ignore the tv for a few moments. You know– have a chat and calm the ole’ nerves. I believe this puppy could have benefitted from a bit of editing. The snobbish dissector of cinema that I am, I tried to stay subjective and follow the work itself and when able to do so, there is some, truly, amazing acting going on. The villains are absolutely believable and so is the torture they put Dallender through, as well as her responses to it. This actually is a modern-day journey into cinematic Grand Guignol. Unfortunately, it does not have the artistic subjectivity necessary to be a well-executed piece of art. Rather, it is more of a simple piece of shlock with occasional shots of glory; primarily from Jemma Dallender. I can’t imagine what sort of headspace one needs to go to in order to be believable in such acting and this is the saving grace for this film. Dallender can act, folks, of that there is no question. Cinematically, this is really a phoned in, ‘Who cares?’- type of film, which is why I say it’s more the extremely dark fantasy of Neil Elman and Thomas Fenton in cahoots with director Steven Monroe, who collectively had the financial means to legally make it happen, rather than true art. For some reason, this film reminds me of a section of Ellis’ ‘Less than Zero’. If you’ve read that book, you may possibly connect the thought.
Apparently, this film only played in one theater here in the states and was a financial disaster. This amuses me quite a lot and equally fills me with the hope that audiences are finally bored with gratuitous displays of shock and want something with more substance. I’ll put it this way: if you’re the type of person that listens to a band like Cannibal Corpse, strictly for the lyrical content, then I Spit on Your Grave 2 is right up your alley.
If you are searching for something with genuine brushstrokes, you could absolutely do better than this.
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