I Spit On Your Grave (2010): Movie Review

I Spit On Your Grave 2010 Movie Review
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (Steven R. Monroe, 2010)

Review by Jason Lees, MoreHorror.com

An odd thing happens when you watch the remake of I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. About ten minutes into the movie, you realize it’s just that: a movie. When watching the original, it’s easy to forget that you’re sitting somewhere safe and that the horrific events aren’t actually happening, that you’re not somehow complicit in the crimes on screen. The way the ’78 version plays out, you don’t enjoy the film, you experience. In the new remake, however, it’s not the same. It’s not so stark and gritty. It has more polish and editing and a bit more flash.
It’s a movie.

And after watching the original a few times, that’s a damn good thing. This time, Sarah Butler takes on the role of Jennifer Hills, a big city novelist who unfortunately goes to the woods to work on her next book. Like in the original, Hills runs afoul of some angry locals who see her only as a receptacle for their male inferiority rage. They attack her, repeatedly, and seemingly kill her out in those woods. She somehow survives and makes her way back to get her revenge.
Whereas in the original, we see Hills as a deliberate and cold angel of death, coming back for each of her attackers systematically and with great patience, here, Butler’s Hills is more feral, angrier, and not to be dismissive but she’s far more cinematic. Her revenge is done with style of flair, not in the SAW vein, but in a manner that shows intelligence and resourcefulness that is both believable and, dare I say it, fun to watch. That’s the oddest thing about this take on I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, it’s a fun ride, and that’s not a word I’d ever think to use to describe it. Maybe it’s a by product of having seen the original too many times, but this take, while by no means ever tame, is just more palatable to watch. The acting is sharp, and the characters, even those that are flat out stereotypes, make good use of their screen time.

Of all the remakes out there, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE may be the least necessary, but it may be the most respectful to its source. It honors the Zarchi film in a way that most don’t. Even Matt Reeves’s LET ME IN changed and ignored certain aspects of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and while this I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE doesn’t come close to the level of LET ME IN, it does have its black little heart in the right place. Not for everyone, but isn’t that the very banner of what a good horror film should strive to be? Not for everyone?

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