I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013)
Review by Jude Felton
Director Steven R. Monroe’s 2010 version of I Spit on Your Grave was, in my humble opinion, one of the better remakes of recent years. As much as you can with a rape/revenge flick, I found that I really enjoyed it. Sure, I was slightly miffed that the heroine, Jennifer, disappeared for a large amount of time during the middle section of the film, but her revenge was brutal and well-orchestrated. It may not have been as sleazy as Meir Zarchi’s 1978 original, but then not many films are. So, when it was announced that Monroe would be helming a sequel, I was actually quite eager to see it.
This time around we follow the exploits of Katie, a young model from the country who moves to New York to further her career. Of course, life in the big city is a lot tougher, especially for an aspiring model, so when she gets the chance to have some photos done she jumps at the opportunity. Right from the get-go though it all reeks of sleaze and dodgy dealings, and indirectly results in the rape section of this rape revenge movie.
From here on in events in I Spit on Your Grave 2 get unbearable to watch. Seriously, this is oppressive viewing until just after the hour mark, and even before then it was a case of enough already. I’ve seen brutal, shocking and disturbing films in the past; plenty of them, but this was just in no means entertaining. It got to the point where whatever Katie comes up with in the revenge part of the film, would never come close to making up for what goes before.
I really have no idea what Monroe had in mind with this film. Was he trying to outdo the first film, in terms of shock value? I have no idea, but I will say this; the first film (original and remake) had a simple premise and terrific execution. This film lingers for far too long on Katie’s abuse and not enough time on the revenge. There’s even a sub-plot involving a priest and a cop that further take screen time away from Katie.
Aside from all this there are flaws aplenty in logic and plotting, and by the time the end credits roll you will also feel robbed, amongst other things. I won’t say more, although you should know exactly what I mean when you see it.
In terms of performances, Jemma Dallender, as Katie, does actually put in a terrific showing for about two thirds of the film. She gives it her all, and you’ll really feel for her. Then, she develops a strange need to throw stupid wise-cracks whilst dishing out her vengeance, which further ruined any chance there was of me getting anything from this film.
Joe Absolom, yes the lad who previously appeared in UK Soap Eastenders and the little seen flick Left for Dead, is a nasty bastard as Ivan; he’s cold and detached, and is played very well. The rest of the cast are all perfunctory, offering up just enough in their roles.
Technically speaking, I Spit on Your Grave 2 is a decent looking film and it’s works well within its budget. However, none of this can save the film from the horribly misanthropic script which offers up no level of subtlety or tact in its approach to the subject. Films like I Spit on Your Grave (1978), Ms.45 and even The Girl Next Door, were all incredibly brutal films, and even when there was no respite, as in the case of The Girl Next Door, there seemed to be a point and structure to the story. Whereas in this film it is just fucking pointless. If it takes until past the hour mark to get across the point that Katie has suffered a horrendous ordeal, you probably didn’t have much of a script to begin with. There’s only so much raping, beating, pissing and abuse you can take before, as a viewer, you just switch off.
I Spit on Your Grave 2 is pointless and painful to watch, in all senses of the word, and almost undoes the sterling work Monroe did on the 2010 film. In a tale, such as this, the punishment really needs to outweigh the crime, yet alas in this film it falls far too short.
Overall, as you may have guessed, I was incredibly disappointed with this film and really hope Monroe comes back with some better material on whatever he has lined up next.
I Spit on Your Grave 2 is released by Anchor Bay and is available now on Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack.