13 October 2010
I Spit on Your Grave 2010 - REVIEW
Directors and actors these days have to be careful. Remakes of horror classics can make a lot of people angry. Me personally, I'm not a fan of remakes at all, especially when they're poorly done. I hate when film makers take originals and turn them into glorified garbage. When they twist the personas of the main characters to make them unlikeable nothings. Perfect example, and this is just my opinion you don't have to agree or like it, is Rob Zombie and his ridiculous interpretation of the Halloween movies. So now, director Steven R. Monroe teams up with writer Stuart Morse to revamp this very controversial 1978 classic. After hearing the news I admit, I was skeptical. Even as I sat down in the theater to watch I couldn't help but think I just wasted $10 and another 117 minutes of my life.
Writer Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) takes a retreat from the city to a charming cabin in the woods to start on her next book. But her presence in the small town attracts the attention of a few morally deprived locals who set out one night to teach this city girl a lesson. They break into her cabin to scare her. However, what starts out as terrifying acts of humiliation and intimidation, quickly and uncontrollably escalates into a night of physical abuse and torturous assault. But before they can kill her, she sacrifices her broken and beaten body to a raging river that washes her away. As time passes, the men slowly stop searching for her body and try to go back to life as usual. But that isn't about to happen. Against all odds, Jennifer survived her ordeal. Now, with hell bent vengeance, her sole purpose is to turn the tables on these animals and to inflict upon them every horrifying and torturous moment they carried out on her... only much, much worse.
Given that this was Butler's first major role in the film industry I wasn't convinced she could pull off such a complex character. I would imagine even a seasoned actor would have a hard time getting into this role. You have take into account what this character is subjected to throughout this film and the emotion that's involved. I'd love to interview her to find out how she mentally prepared herself for such a role. ANYWAY, I thought without a doubt she pulled it off. She brought a much needed innocence to the character and made it easy to feel for her. She is equally as effective when she comes back to exact her revenge if not more so. Chad Lindberg portrayed the mentally challenged man who's bullied by the thugs he grew up with to get in on the gang rape. He captured the fragile, but still capable of violence Matthew with perfection and when it was all over with, you actually felt for the character (even if it was just a little). He delivers a multi-dimensional, impressive performance and his talent shines through like never before. Those were the two outstanding performances for me so I wanted to make sure and highlight those. Not saying that Daniel Franzese, Jeff Branson, Rodney Eastman and Andrew Howard didn't do a great job because they did. I just had a certain appreciation for depth that Butler and Lindberg brought to their characters. And roll me in butter and call me a biscuit is that Tracey Walter I see pulling a cameo?? I think I remember him most for his portrayal of Arnold in Raggedy Man. That's probably an odd memory given as much work as he's done but I can't help it. God, I love him!
So, on to what I thought about the film. The rape scene is extremely hard to watch and no doubt most people will find it a bit uncomfortable. I know I did. It's shockingly brutal and so intense it's unreal. But that's what it's intended to be and it never apologizes for that. The intensity may dull down just a tad but it pretty much holds up the entire film. Monroe did a spot on job with the direction and captured the contrast between tranquility and chaos perfectly. Stuart Morse brings a brilliant script to the table with great dialogue and just the right amount of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. I know I've seen the original film but for the life of me the only scene I can remember is the one in the bathtub. Doesn't matter, the point is this film isn't an exact duplicate of the original, some things were changed but plot wise there's no difference at all and that's what makes it outstanding. So, who am I to judge how great or bad a film is? No one. So why does what I have to say matter? It doesn't. If you wanna see it, you're gonna see it no matter what I say. I'm not Dread Central or Shock Till You Drop I'm just me. A person who loves horror films and will tell you honestly what I think of them and my opinion of this film is that it's easily THE BEST REMAKE OF THE YEAR. Take it or leave it, like it or not. It doesn't really matter to me.