November 28, 2013
Neil Elman, Thomas Fenton
Steven R. Monroe
Jemma Dellender as: Katie
Yavor Baharoff as: Gregory
Joe Absolom as: Ivan
Aleksander Aleksiev as: Nicolay
Mary Stockley as: Ana
Valentine Pelka as: Father Dimov
Katie (Jemma Dellender) is a beautiful, aspiring model living in New York City. She goes to a studio to get her pictures taken for her portfolio. She poses for them, but when she is asked to disrobe she refuses. The photographer, Ivan (Joe Absolom), insists, but feeling very angry she just leaves and doesn’t even bother taking the pictures they already shot of her. The next day his brother Gregory (Yavor Baharoff) takes the pictures to her apartment, apologizing for his brother’s behavior. But, we soon see that he has an obsession with her. The following day, he sneaks into her house, rapes her, and kills her friend and neighbor Jayson (Michael Dixon) who comes into the apartment when he hears her struggling. After he is done raping her, Gregory calls up his brother for her help. They proceed to drug, frame her for Jayson’s murder, and kidnap her.
When she awakens; she finds herself in a dirty, old basement. It is here that she is raped and drugged again, as well humiliated and tortured. After multiple horrific, violent, and vile acts of are administrated on her, she is left for dead. But, she comes back and seeks bloody vengeance on each of the scum involved in her nightmarish ordeal.
This grueling and vicious film has no connection to either the infamous and highly controversial original cult classic, I Spit on Your Grave (AKA Day of the Woman), from writer/ director Meir Zarchi or the very well made, but still nasty remake of the same name, other than the fact that the later and this are both directed by Steven Monroe. and, of course, the fact that they all share the same basic plot. It also keeps the same tone of the two earlier films, making this a highly unpleasant and vile viewing experience. But, I mean those words as a compliment to the film and not condemning it all. As one would expect it aims to be a rough viewing, and it most definitely achieves that.
The scenes of Katie’s multiple rapes, torture, and humiliations are truly harrowing and horrifically hard to watch. You will be begging for these moments to be over and for her to finally have her revenge. It makes her payback on her aggressors that much better of a payoff for you, the viewer. Each of her kills are better than the one that precedes it, and they each incorporate what they did to her. While, the kills are somewhat less bloody than the preceding movie, they remain intense and shocking, nonetheless, with the absolute nastiest and best kill being saved for last, not unlike the way it was in the remake.
This works well due to the fine performance by the beautiful Jemma Dallender. She gives a powerhouse and complex performance, as her character evolves from regular girl to victim to slowly coming back to her terrifying revenge persona. The villains are all well played by their respective performers, as well. You, of course, want them to get what’s coming to them.
The editing of the film is tight and plays with well with Monroe’s directing to create some very suspenseful moments, as well as some truly nasty ones. I also enjoyed the homages there are to the original film, including the opening shot and the addition of the religious aspect that this film incorporates. That said while, there are some cool twists in the film, there is one I saw a mile away. It’s also one of those movies that you can add to the ever growing list of films, like Hosteland Taken, which seem to teach us to never go to any place in Europe.
That said while, there are some cool twists in the film, there is one I saw a mile away. The twist wasn’t enough to take me out of the movie, but I definitely found it hard to believe. It stretches the reality of a horror film that is supposed to take place in the “real world”. Many of the twists, those both good and bad, seem to teach us, as both Hostel and Taken did, that nothing good comes from traveling to Europe, and that most of its inhabitants are not to be trusted. In the end, this isn’t quite as good as either of the other two I Spit films, as it lacks the true grindhouse appeal of the original or the fluidity of the remake.
Regardless of these issues, I Spit on Your Grave 2 is the most brutal movie that I have seen so far this year. As would be expected this one is not for everyone; many will find it needlessly repulsive and sleazy. But, fellow fans of this franchise and other films of the rape-revenge sub-genre already know what they are getting themselves into. For those, this movie delivers in spades. It should be seen by them, but with all the genital violence, of both the female and male variety, that occur in it, you’ll want to definitely be wearing a cup.