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I Spit On Your Grave(2010)
A writer who is brutalized during her cabin retreat seeks revenge on her attackers, who left her for dead.
For more about I Spit On Your Grave and the I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray release, see I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 28, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Andrew Howard, Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Daniel Franzese
Director: Steven R. Monroe
» See full cast & crew
I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray Review
A shallow remake that ups the ante but loses any semblance of emotion.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 28, 2011
What's a pretty little thing like you doing out here all alone?
I Spit on Your Grave, or Day of the Remake, takes the same story as its predecessor, cleans it up with some spit and polish, and considerably amps up the gore and gut-wrenching acts of violence that are sure to leave even the most stalwart viewers squirming in their seats, but this update somehow manages to leave out the rawness and emotion of the original and replace it with, well, nothing really. A few points for the shiny new façade and a few nasty shots that the gore hounds will love to no end, but this remake -- re-imagining, better said -- fails to resonate with the same stand-up-and-cheer emotion of the original. It' not like the original really needed a remake to begin with. Some movies are better left alone, Director Meir Zarchi's seminal and highly divisive cult classic being one of them. Steven R. Monroe's re-imagining of the quintessential cult shocker isn't destined for the same lifespan as the original; it has everything the first didn't in terms of a more refined storyline, better acting, and superior filmmaking techniques, but all that jazz means nothing without the emotional center. Sure, this version will leave viewers wanting to punish the rapists, too, but there's no spark, no sense of real danger, no sense of real revenge. It just feels like a movie going through the motions, a movie that's more concerned with besting the original in every area -- which it almost does -- except that it forgot the most critical part of the formula: a reason to care.
Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) flees the hustle-and-bustle of the city in favor of a serene country environment that she hopes will be the perfect setting for penning her latest novel. Jennifer is involved in a minor altercation with a small-town gas station attendant, Johnny (Jeff Branson), that's more cause for embarrassment than alarm. When Johnny's group finds out that one of their own has secretly videotaped a nearly nude Jennifer, they decide to pay her a visit, a visit that she believes to be nasty and uncalled for retribution for the gas station incident but that quickly become something more: rape. The group holds her down so the mentally-challenged Matthew (Chad Lindberg) can use her as a tool through which he'll lose his virginity. Jennifer is raped and eventually escapes, only to stumble upon help that's really no help at all. She's returned to the scene of the crime only to be raped again and again. Though Jennifer is presumed dead, the nevertheless semi-cautious men go about their lives, but it doesn't take long for a resurgent and determined rape victim to exact the brutal justice she craves.
The primary differences in terms of story between this and the original is that the remake spends most of its time post-rape with the rapists rather than the victim, and it adds a fifth rapist to the roster for the purpose of...who knows, really, but supposedly to add some generic dynamic, a false sense of security in his introduction, and as a means of getting what is sure to become the film's trademark kill into the movie. To I Spit on Your Grave's credit, the film handles the rape scene rather well, for whatever that's worth. There's a greater tension leading up to it than there was in the original; the actors do a surprisingly good job of selling it on both ends, the men as worthless scum who find in it some sort of perverted pleasure and the girl a real sense of dread that had to shake up the entire cast considering its raw effectiveness. This version, like the original, pulls no punches along the way; the rape scene isn't quite as extended and excruciating once it gets started, but it should be enough to have the audience on pins and needles waiting for Jennifer to get her revenge. Instead, the film shifts to concentrate on the rapists as they struggle to cover up their deed and, as time passes, eventually become lulled into a false sense of security that Jennifer quickly, methodically, and without mercy shatters. The problem is that the revenge factor just doesn't have the same you go girl quality to it. The film feels routine to no end as it just goes about the motions and from one kill to the next in its final act.
The other major difference between this and the original is the incredible amount of brutal violence that's many times greater than anything offered up in the original, at least in terms of what the audience actually sees. The original I Spit on Your Grave is one of those movies with a reputation for extreme violence, but most of it is never really shown on-screen in all its brutality. In that film, water quickly fills with blood, an axe is quickly seen digging into some obviously rubber make-believe flesh, and that's pretty much it, outside of the rape, of course. Here, the film lingers on all of it save for one scene that sees Jennifer remove a man from his manhood with a pair of garden sheers, but even then there's a "surprise" visual that's sure to have every man in the world squirming. The film's final act plays as little more than a string of "torture porn"-style shots. This review won't give anything away, but suffice it to say Jennifer manages to turn the tables on each of her rapists, using their own personality traits or the means in which they raped her as the centerpieces of her revenge. It's almost a literal eye-for-an-eye sort of thing, but again, the film somehow manages to take away all of the intangibles the made the other one so easy to cheer for. This one just has the audience going through the motions right alongside Jennifer, and like her, the most that'll probably come of it all is a little smirk for justice served but no you go girl out-and-out cheering this time around.
I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray, Video Quality
I Spit on Your Grave's high definition video source translates well to Blu-ray. Anchor Bay's transfer handles the material efficiently and without too many flaws; it has a flat and glossy appearance by its nature, and some troubling banding creeps in from time to time, but this one is otherwise solid from beginning to end. Fine detail proves quite good throughout; even something as routine as the texturing of a screen door is handled remarkably well, and the transfer also yields excellent detailing in clothes, stitches, wood, and even the grisly details of the gore. The film favors a pale-gray look; within that overreaching texture are good, natural colors -- including neutral flesh tones -- but there's no escaping the dreary general feel that dominates the film. Black levels are near perfect, wonderfully inky and deep without proving detrimental to in-frame details. Overall, the image is free of excess noise and looks clean as a whistle throughout. I Spit on Your Grave isn't much of a looker by its very nature, but Anchor Bay's transfer handles the material as it is rather well.
I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray, Audio Quality
I Spit on Your Grave's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack mimics the video transfer in that it's fine considering the source but not particularly exciting as a standalone entity. Still, "adherence to source" is more admirable than "jacked up phony," and as such it's hard to find much fault with Anchor Bay's soundtrack. Atmospherics are abundant throughout; exterior scenes enjoy realistic ambience in the form of random train whistles, barking dogs, and buzzing insects. The front channels carry the bulk of the material, and what little bass there is plays as a bit sloppy and absent the tightness of better tracks. Major sound effects are limited; a few pistol shots lack much authority, but several shotgun blasts pack quite the punch. One of the track's best effects comes near the end as Jennifer hits an old tub with a baseball bat, the ringing, hollow sound nicely reverberating through the soundstage. Dialogue is smooth and accurate and remains grounded up the middle. This isn't a movie about sound; it's instead about its visuals and what should be its emotions. Anchor Bay's soundtrack handles the surprisingly low-key track well enough.
I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
I Spit on Your Grave offers a fair assortment of extras, headlined by a quality commentary track and a standrad-definition making-of piece.
I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
To recap: take what is already one of the ultimate love-it-or-loathe it movies and remake it, this time leaving out all things the lovers loved and amping up all the things the loathers loathed, and the result is a movie that doesn't have much of an audience left. This one's all about the violence. It's brutal and unforgiving and cleverly implemented in a sadistic sort of way, and while, yes, the audience will cheer for the girl, they'll do so out of their basic humanity -- because it's the right thing to do -- not because she's a particularly sympathetic character or the film plays on the audiences' innermost raw emotions. For as awful as the rape is and as sweet as the revenge may be, it just doesn't resonate in quite the same way as the original. I Spit on Your Grave is a movie that probably shouldn't have been remade, and this take on the story does the original no justice. However, Anchor Bay's Blu-ray release does feature an impressive technical presentation, but the rather small supplemental package will disappoint fans. Recommended as a rental for those who just have to see it.
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I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Anchor Bay to Release I Spit On Your Grave 2 - May 7, 2013
Anchor Bay Entertainment announced today that it has teamed up with CineTel Films to release the next chapter of the controversial I Spit On Your Grave film franchise. Anchor Bay Entertainment President Bill Clark made the announcement.
• This Week on Blu-ray - February 8-14 - February 8, 2011
Katherine Heigl plays Holly, an uptight entrepreneur. Josh Duhamel plays Messer, a dysfunctional sports director. Together, they star in Life as We Know It, which sees this odd couple forced together after tragedy takes the lives of two mutual friends, and Holly ...
• I Spit on Your Grave Original and Remake Announced on Blu-ray - November 18, 2010
Anchor Bay has announced that, on February 8, 2011, it will release the cult movie I Spit on Your Grave and its 2010 remake, both in an unrated director's cut. Back in 1978, I Spit on Your Grave shocked audiences all over the world - critics reviled it, but audiences ...
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