Movie Review: I Spit On Your Grave

So it’s been a bit since I did a movie review, and I Spit On Your Grave was something I watched over a month ago because everyone else that I work with watched it and kept talking about it. So I watched it. And here’s my disclaimer – this was not a happy movie, and I’m going to give away a lot of what happens so if you haven’t seen it and you want to be surprised or unpleasant movies make you squirm, you may not want to read the rest of my comments. You were warned.

I knew the basics about this movie because one of the guys I work with had part of it up on his screen while I was near his desk and also because two of the guys I worked with talked a little bit about what happens. I knew there was going to be a rape in there and I figured it would be graphic, but that’s not really where the movie starts. The movie starts with a fairly attractive woman stopping at a gas station and asking for directions to an isolated cabin she rented for a couple months. There are a few guys there who do pretty good impressions of small-town guys with the lack of real social skills and a big inkling for alcohol. She blows off their terrible pick-up lines and mostly obvious drool and even manages to insult the “manly-man-leader-of-the-pack” type.

We find out for the first part of the movie that the woman is a writer and she rented the cabin so she could have some peace and quiet without distractions to work on her next book. The cabin is pretty nice with a small pond out front and good trees. It’s out of the way and surrounded by trees and extremely isolated. I have to admit that my ideal retirement after I finish my current career involves a cabin in the middle of nowhere where I can just read and write all day and be a full-time author. So I very much understand the appeal of getting away from everything in order to write. Unfortunately, it goes quite badly in this movie.

The movie goes on to show the local boys drinking out in the woods and talking about the chick in the cabin and then getting all worked up about how she’s just a city girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else. They come up with this idea to prove that she’s just a piece of trash. They assault her in the cabin and they’ve got a gun, which tends to be very motivational for most people. She manages to get away and runs into the local sheriff who is on a hunting excursion with the old guy who rented her the cabin. She goes back to the cabin with him to try and show him the bad guys and get his help in dealing with him.

And then the sheriff turns out to be a bad guy. This is one of the things that the horror genre often likes to play with by giving the main character a symbol of hope and then rubbing it in your face that the more you depend on things you think will be good and helpful, the more you’ll regret it. It turns out that this sheriff is pretty shady and together, they all force a mentally challenged guy to rape the main character first, even though he doesn’t want to, but it’s for his own good, right? So they abuse her and rape her and leave her out in the woods.

Here’s one of my points of contention with this whole story and society in general. We see her in various stages of undressed and even totally naked, but we never see any of the guys because it’s still some sort of modern issue where it’s okay to show nude females, but not nude males. So I’m not really sure what the people who made this movie were saying because eventually, she gets away from them as they try to kill her and she does some extremely messed up stuff to them, including stripping the main guy down and cutting off his dick with pruning shears, but you don’t actually see it. She also holds one of the guys eyes open and rubs fish guts in his eyes so the birds come and eat them, as well as setting up a vat of acid to eat another guy’s face. All the guys died pretty graphically and very creatively. I guess the moral is don’t mess with writers because our brains tend to be very creative places.

I’m not really sure why the guys in my office like this movie so much. I’d have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed. I mean, granted, it took a really traumatic and horrific subject (rape) and added some really graphic revenge ways to die, but I’d have to say that it’s probably a movie I’ll never need to watch again. The guys in my office watch it over and over again and I’m not really sure why. I didn’t really get the adrenaline of not knowing what was happening or having lots of tension building throughout the movie. Would I classify this as horror? Maybe. Although it did show some of the more scary monsters, that of humans who convince themselves that what they’re doing is the right thing, but I’m not really sure it held the tension the way it could have. It did have a high and graphic body count, but I felt like it was missing something that would have made me more emotionally involved. It was definitely cringe-worthy in several instances, but mostly it made me wish that more women carried their own guns.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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