I Spit on Your Grave 2

Director: Steven R. Monroe (2013)
Starring: Jemma Dallender, Yavor Baharov, Joe Absolom
Find it: IMDB

An aspiring model replies to an advert she finds posted on a wall. Text a photo of yourself to an anonymous Nico Bellic voice motherfucker, for a free photoshoot? Sounds legit. It's the sort of advertisement that's ten-a-penny on Gumtree or Craigslist, and a plausible setup for an I Spit on Your Grave movie... of which there are now three, counting Meir Zarchi's original video nasty.

"Aaaaargh!" you scream, outraged, "a sequel? Profiteering from our rape culture, much?" And while you wouldn't be wrong, if so many of you (maybe not you personally... I'm sure you have better taste than that) hadn't paid to see the remake, we wouldn't be here, and nor would I Spit on Your Grave 2. Zarchi, for all his film's faults (being terrible, chief among them) had intended I Spit on Your Grave as a warning; an anti-rape piece. The remake and its sequel exist only to make money. There's no message to them (apart from maybe, the obvious keep the fuck off've Gumtree) only exploitation, pure and simple. Judging by the fact that the remake made enough money to justify a sequel, well, it looks as though that worked, didn't it?

As an exploitation film, then, I Spit on Your Grave 2 does what it does very well. It's one of the most unpleasant movies I have ever seen, aided by an all-too realistic performance from lead actress Jemma Dallender. Bleak, moody and atmospheric, it certainly looks the part. It's not remotely scary but, then, it was never intended to be. But the problem we have is the same as the previous two instalments suffered from - as soon as the rape part of this rape/revenge tale is over, everyone seems to lose interest. Katie's vengeance feels tacked-on and perfunctory. A guy is drowned in a toilet, though, which is always amusing.

Also amusing: Eastenders person Joe Absolom and his dodgy Bulgarian accent.

Warning: this paragraph spoils the film's ending. Look, if you're going to make a revenge movie, you should at least try to ensure that the revenge is more powerful than the initial crime, otherwise it just makes your protagonist look like an amateur. Here, it underlines the futility of revenge, but I doubt that was the statement the filmmakers were trying to make. To add insult to injury, a man turns up at the end and saves Katie's life, killing the Nasty Man for her. 

I Spit on Your Grave 2 is a thoroughly effective exploitation movie. Ugly, offensive and lacking in artistic merit, it's the most worthless instalment yet.

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