Spit take – I Spit on Your Grave 2 review

I Spit on Your Grave 2

By Richard Haridy
October 15, 2013

The rape-revenge genre is one of the most problematic to navigate. The original I Spit on Your Grave, from 1979, was a tawdry affair with a suitably exploitative vibe designed to push its audience into complex modes of identification. While the 2010 remake got plenty wrong – from its disturbingly sexualised rape sequences to a superheroic turn of revenge by the victim – it did fit the criteria for a nasty, disreputable piece of transgressive cinema. With I Spit on Your Grave 2, director Steven R. Monroe returns and reveals that everything he seemingly did right in his first remake must have been accidental, for this horrifically misguided sequel is everything you pray a movie like this would not be.

Eliminating any nuance from the set-up, this sequel (which is really just a location shifted do-over) introduces us to Katie (Jemma Dallender), an aspiring model in New York who stumbles across a group of Bulgarian boys offering free photography sessions. Creepy moment leads to creepy moment and before you know it Katie is being raped in her apartment by one of the amateur shutterbugs. Some ketamine and a fade-out are all that is needed to explain Katie waking up in a basement in Bulgaria. Her nightmare is only just beginning though, as we suffer through plenty more rape, beatings, and general debasement before even nearly reaching the revenge part of the scenario.

I Spit on Your Grave 2

Dallender gamely takes all the humiliation and subjugation the producers throw at her but when the tables turn she tends to play ‘angry’ and ‘vengeful’ with a merely psychotic look in her eyes. This only serves to turn the back end of the picture into a portrait of a permanently damaged woman rather than an expression of a woman wreaking righteous revenge. The feature also ends on a bizarre note, implying she goes home and everything is again right with the world. It’s all so uncomfortably misguided.

Most disturbing is the seeming ease this film had in acquiring an R rating here in Australia, especially after it needed almost six minutes cut to pass in the UK. Monroe has created a thoroughly reprehensible piece of gratuitous trash that not only debases his lead actress but all those who are unfortunate enough to view it as well. This is as depressingly disgusting as cinema can get.

0.5/5

I Spit on Your Grave 2 will be available on Quickflix from October 16, 2013.

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