I Spit On Your Grave 2 – It’s Not Shit
I haven’t posted an It’s Not Shit since 9 September (thanks, Sinister).
And who knew a shameless, unoriginal sequel like this would be the combo breaker?
It’s a cruel world.
TL;DR Just as discomforting and gory as its 2010 cousin, I Spit On Your Grave 2 is unashamed genre fodder. Original it ain’t, but the execution is flawless. 4 out of 5 stars.
And my expectations were low, which certainly helped.
The plot is a rehash of the rape-revenge formula, and not actually a sequel to the 2010 remake (or the original). Katie is an aspiring model trying to make it big in New York City (and without the magic, “I get everything I want just because” abilities of Glee’s characters). She takes an offer from 3 Bulgarian brothers for some free portfolio shots, but then one of them rapes her, which leads to her kidnapping to conceal the crime. They, along with their sister, pimp Katie out when they take her back to Bulgaria. Katie escapes and begins plotting her exquisite revenge, while a helpful priest and detective try to catch up to her, too. They don’t get there in time, as Katie mercilessly destroys those who have wronged her.
And she gets away with it.
You can criticise this movie and its kind (The Last House On The Left is similar) for indulging in showing disturbing physical and sexual violence against women in the pursuit of shock value. And they do.
But I don’t believe these movies are honestly intent on saying or proving anything beyond being exploitative horror movies. And I Spit On Your Grave 2 is indeed indulgent and exploitative. And it works. The important thing to remember about the rape-revenge horror movie, before you start getting too riled up, is that the “revenge” part is where the essence of the movie lies.
And when your revenge involves tying someone up in the sewers, cutting parts of their body open, smearing the wounds with shit, and letting them literally fester to death, then I think you’ve succeeded.
Why I DON’T hate this movie:
And that’s only one of her kills, which she reserves for the brother who originally raped her. The others are similarly brutal:
For the sleazy brother (ironically, not the one who raped her first), she corners him in a rancid nightclub bathroom. Clearly not one to leave faeces for only one kill, she kills this brother by drowning him in the nastiest, clogged toilet bowl in film history. A pretty shitty way to go. It’s beautiful.
For the fat client who stun-gunned her vagina, she ties him up and performs some stun-gunning (with his stun-gun, too, for extra irony). She then shoves some wire thing down his throat (some plumbing tool? I don’t know) that rips up his insides a bit. And she finishes by electrocuting the wire, which burns his face up and eventually explodes the back of his head. Delightful.
The lead brother gets the worst of it (yeah, there’s worse). She tears his nipple off for starters, and then proceeds to crush his testicles in a vice until they pop out of his scrotum. The detective catches up to her at this point, and shoots the lead brother in the head when he tries to attack Katie. Teamwork is important.
And for the sister, well, she gets to be the sole survivor of the family, and thus the one who will be charged with all the crimes they’ve committed. Good for her.
The rape scenes are just as uncomfortable as its predecessor. I’m not sure if its just me or not, though, but they felt less lingered-upon this time. Which is good. I know I said exploitation isn’t necessarily bad, but I also said what we want is the revenge, and I’d like to get there as soon as possible.
The film certainly understands how to make sex and a naked woman unerotic. Effective.
Katie’s screaming ability is top-tier stuff. Nothing B-grade about that.
I’m glad that the local cop (“local” being Bulgaria) wasn’t a corrupt conspirator for once. That was a nice change of pace.
Best line of the movie goes to the lead brother, upon seeing the rapist brother’s mess in Katie’s apartment (including the stabbed-to-death landlord who came when he heard the commotion): “You are one sick fuck.” Yes.
The film gives the villains a bit of dimension. The rapist brother and the sister were both brutally raped by their father as children. And the lead brother’s disgust in what his sibling did to Katie initially seems genuine.
Oh, and before her roaring rampage of revenge begins, Katie almost makes it to the US embassy. But the call of vengeance is just too strong. It is for me, too.
But its not all good:
The kills, while vomitrociously amazing, don’t quite live up to the outlandish, movie-fabulous kills of the 2010 film. It was gonna be hard to top raping your villain in the arse with a shotgun, then having a mechanism trigger it to kill him. And I Spit On Your Grave 2 didn’t get there.
The whole recycled plot with a “2” slapped onto the title thing bothers me, too. It is essentially the same movie.
The brothers’ photography operation actually seems strangely professional. They’ve got a nice little studio setup going. They know about lighting and stuff. And the rape only happens by chance (the other 2 didn’t set out for it to happen. It was just the one horny fucknut that went for it). That’s not to say that other girls hadn’t been similarly stalked and attacked (I presume so), but I felt kinda bad that they had to abandon their photography business.
The family decides to kill Katie strangely quickly. She pretty much only has the one customer, then they try to bury her alive. That’s just bad business. They could have kept her drugged up and in service for longer than that, surely.
Also, why bury her alive? Come on.
The sleazy brother’s death was a bit underwhelming for me. Yes, it was gross. But she basically just drowns him in a toilet bowl quite quickly. He deserved more than that. He did piss on her earlier. Katie, you ain’t got no ambition, girl.
The sister doesn’t get injured enough. She just gets locked in the box for a little while.
Oh, and Katie’s prudishness about not wanting to do any underwear shots for the photos is a bit silly. I watch a lot of Top Model, and being in your underwear is not unusual at all. The model bookers need to see your body, honey. Maybe she just didn’t want to do it in front of those particular photographers, but your portfolio isn’t gonna do much for you if you can’t give the people who view it the information they need. If Sam from Glee can do it, you can.
It’s high performance genre fluff, and without the pressure of something like The Conjuring. I Spit On Your Grave 2 is groin-grabbingly (and testicle-poppingly) good. It’s not shit. 4 out of 5 stars.