Director: Steven R. Monroe (2013)
As I’ve said repeatedly, I’m a left to left, progressive feminist, who loves shoes! So, I try to divorce myself from my usual feminist and political views when I watch horror movies, because our beloved genre is such contradiction of how I conduct myself in real life. Horror is its own contradiction of itself most times, there’s the misogynistic 80s slasher film that for the most part involves some big boobed girl running thru the woods with her shirt falling off getting hacked to death. Then there’s the final girl phenomenon, which shows the bad ass femme fatale who confronts and gets the best of the villain. Hooray!
I write all this to say I always groan and shake my finger at films such as I Spit on Your Grave, and most TV shows that involve rape. Spoiler alert – there’s repeated rape in I Spit on Your Grave 2, as there is repeated rape in the original ISPYG and the remake. But there is a difference this time, I almost feel Steven R. Monroe heard my hissing and answered me somewhat. Let’s do a bit of housekeeping shall we?
I Spit on Your Grave 2 is a separate movie from the first installment, this second film begins in New York City and unlike its predecessors doesn’t involve any people from backwoods or any inbred rednecks. Cityfolk, y’all. This time we are introduced to Katie Carter, an inspiring model, anxious to get her big break. And of course, Katie answers the wrong model wanted ad from the newspaper, which sets the events in motion. The Bulgarian photographers ask Katie to take her clothes off for photos, with their intent being to sell the images on the Internet. Katie refuses and leaves. One of the photography “assistants” arrives at Katie’s apartment to return her pictures; he attacks her violently, even killing her neighbor in the process. This is where I commend the director, although the scene is disturbing and brutal, it is shot in a way that makes you uncomfortable. There are no lingering shots of this woman’s naked body; she is not objectified in this scene at all. Hence my problem, with the remake. I shan’t rehash this now.
After Katie’s attack she is captured and awakes in a foreign country only to be brutalized more. After a period of time passes and a failed albeit interesting and heartbreaking escape attempt, her psychotic captors eventually leave her for dead. Now, we get to the part that serves to make us cheer, because little broken Katie goes into action. She plots her revenge for each of her assailants one by one, paying them back if you will in various sadistic manners. There’s a scene involving a vice-grip and an appendage, another one with feces in knife wounds, and basically Hooray for Katie! But…
I think the reason I cannot truly Hooray! Katie’s “revenge” is because although she ends them, Katie in real life would need years of therapy to be whole again and she cannot truly purge herself from their brutality. So does she truly get justice for the crimes against her? Yes, I’m overthinking a horror movie; I told you that I do that, so blame yourself. **Stepping on soapbox. ** We have to get away from using rape as a plot device in these movies, and especially on the popular TV shows. Think about it, there is an out of place rape scene with Jamie and Cerci Lanister on this season’s Game of Thrones, it is unnecessary and stupid, they are in an incestuous relationship already, that’s fucked up enough without throwing a rape at us. Why would he rape her? Is this how the relationship started or something? Was that it? #FailedExecution Every season there’s a rape on American Horror Story. Every. Goddamn. Season. The show is overall pretty clever, but then they throw a rape in there for good measure. Look at us we’re so edgy. #Overit.Please stop.**Stepping from soapbox.**
As far as horror movies go, I’ve seen worse. I was entertained at the last act of course. The actress, is a brave girl, and deserves props for putting herself out there for her yourself art. Not I said the cat! As stated, director Monroe does do a good job of making this sadistic, and hopefully you are disturbed when you watch the early scenes. Now this film of course has some real plot holes, for instance – Bulgaria. How the hell did they transport a person from the United States to freakin’ Bulgaria? Especially in a post 9/11 New York. Just saying.
Overall, I Spit on Your Grave 2 is one of those to watch solely if you’re in the mood and there is nothing else available.