CIFF Capsule Review – I Spit on Your Grave

Retooled to cater to contemporary audiences but just as likely to shock and infuriate this remake of Zeir Marchi’s notorious rape-revenge thriller inevitably inherits many of the issues that dogged the original since it first surfaced on the grindhouse circuit in 1978. Again what’s essentially being offered up for the viewer’s delectation is an inordinately lengthy and explicit depiction of a woman’s brutalization and rape by a group of redneck thugs after she comes to a remote cottage for a writing retreat.

The most significant difference in director Steven R. Monroe’s version concerns the second half of the movie. Whereas the heroine in Marchi’s film used her sexual wiles to entrap the predators who have become her prey Monroe presents Jennifer (Sarah Butler) as a more straightforward yet increasingly implausible agent of vengeance one who shares the Jigsaw Killer’s taste for diabolical contraptions. Alas recasting I Spit on Your Grave as yet another variation on Saw doesn’t make the images of sexual violence any easier to excuse or endure but if you’re a horror fan with an appetite for the hard stuff well you’ll get what you came for.