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Booth's Blog: A Serious Look At A Controversial Movie Series
By Emily Booth, Friday 13th November 2015

BB 1Let the spitting begin!

OK, not the renowned video nasty from 1978 but the 2010 remake of I Spit On Your Grave which surprisingly has been touted by genre fans as one of the best ever horror remakes some even citing it as better than the original (or did I just say something blasphemous there?!)

I remember when news of this bold remake came out helmed by director Steven Monroe; everyone, including me were up in arms about it ranting ‘what’s the point of remaking such an infamous title, one that’s brilliant purely for it’s gritty grindhouse feel – it won’t work without that video nasty aesthetic ….’

But then came the premiere at Frightfest 2010 and… hmmmm nearly all fans did a bit of a u-turn coming out of the screening pleasantly surprised. Of course a film that coins the sub genre ‘rape-revenge’ can hardly be described as ‘pleasant’ for this is one of the most awkward areas within the genre for directors to tread – for good reason, and is why the film courted such controversy in the first place: Showing ‘rape’ in an entertaining context – how do you traverse this subject without falling into the black hole of offensive exploitation. Possibly no other film falls into such grey areas as ISOYG. Some hail it as a feminist film, some as pure exploitation. Does the ‘female revenge’ element of the film justify showing a horrendous half hour gang rape? How is it feminist and empowering when we all know just how damn unrealistic it would be for a rape victim to be able to exact revenge in this way in the real world?! They wouldn’t. It’s a tough cookie! After all, this is not the real world, this is film. And film has every right to be brutal, to reflect the real world but not be responsible for it. I think for me it’s not what subjects can and cannot be tackled but rather how. How is it shot, what is the tone? Who does the audience relate to? Where are the sympathies?

Clearly, the brutality is treated – brutally, but not seductively. It’s just horrid, which does make the revenge served up oh so satisfying if a little unrealistic and theatrical in that SAW – like way. I Spit On Your Grave (2010) gets its UK TV premiere Friday 13th November 10.50pm.

But it doesn’t stop there fiends! Nope, if you think you can handle another round (!) the same director returns to bring us I Spit On Your Grave 2 (2013) this time starring Jemma Dallender (who found fame in Horror Channel favourite Community) as the unfortunate girl. This time round Jemma plays an aspiring model whose ‘photographers’ turn up in her room one night to kidnap her, take her to deepest darkest Europe, lock her up and proceed with the brutality. An ordeal she survives but refuses to forget as she exacts a hefty blow of revenge on her tormenters. I Spit On Your Grave 2 (2013) gets its UK TV premiere the following Friday 20th 10.55pm.

Some of you may or may not have been aware I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance Is Mine had its premiere at the Frightfest Halloween all-nighter back in October and this is more a sequel to the 2010 remake (god these sequels, prequels and rehashes get complicated!) Actress Sarah Butler returns, unable to recover from her ordeal she attends a support group and decides to take everyone's justice into her own hands, doing what the Legal system fails to. The film has just been released on DVD so we’ll wait and see if Horror can get the set!

When I read the huge spectrum of both critic and fan response to the film I kind of agree with all responses and could literally write a 3 page essay on this which would bore the pants off you so I think it’s best to let you the discerning audience watch this films with their myriad of angles, themes and emotional responses and let you decide how you feel. I would LOVE to hear your comments and thoughts on this topic which is a serious one and incites a lot of debate! Twitter me @emmybooth


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