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Newer, But Not Better
on March 10, 2011
In this age of rampant 're-imaginings' of previous horror films it seems inevitable that the notorious 70's seminal female revenge flik "I Spit On Your Grave' would get 'the treatment'. Such re-hashings always beg the question of "why?!?" (that's an easy one: for the money!) and invite comparison to the original version. Like several of the '70's vintage re-makes that have recently gone before it (such as Last House On The Left & The Hills Have Eyes) this new version of ISOYG 'benefits' from a slightly larger budget and a glossier look but does it really offer anything 'new' worth noting/watching? From my perspective, the short answer is: "No"... but there are, of course, always some intriguing elements to compare. The basic story line is identical to the older version - an attractive young single woman rents a secluded cabin in the country to get away from the city and write her novel - she is targeted by a group of local country low-life males who viciously rape her & leave her for dead, but she survives to wreak horrible vengeance upon them all....roll credits. Everyone loves a good revenge flik and the original version broke some ground by: 1) having the initial transgressive act be a very graphic rape scene, 2) showing a lot of full female nudity, and 3) 'empowering' the female victim to commit some atrocious acts of retribution. This new version varies in some minor, but telling, ways: the rape scene has a lot more 'humiliating' aspects to it but way less nudity - the original 4 ner-do-well country boys are joined by a fifth character representing the forces of law & order gone bad, and the vengeful acts of the heroine upon her attackers are considerably more graphic and perverse. Call it a 'sign of the times' but in a filmic universe that now holds the likes of the 'Hostel' & 'Saw' franchise 'torture porn' genre - audiences & film producers/directors are constantly perceiving the need to up the ante on the nature of the violence portrayed... and this seems to instill a sense of contrived manipulation that makes them seem much more mean spirited than their predecessors. Combine this with some gaping plot-holes & sloppy continuity elements and one is still left wondering 'What WERE they thinking?!"... (Oh yeah - I already answered that one: "make money"!) More of a 'renter' than ' keeper' in my opinion.