It’s finally here! October 1st and 31 Days of Horror. If you haven’t checked out my intro post yet, this year I’m doing things a little differently. Matthew Bowers and I are getting into this together, we’ve come up with a schedule of themes and we’re even watching a bunch of the same movies. Check out his page when you’re done here and see what he’s watching today! And stay tuned for some Google+ Hangout style fun. Follow us both on twitter for all of the updates, him @mrbowers and me @theladysrevenge. You know, if you want to. And why wouldn’t you? Really?
We’re starting off week one here with Remakes! Which sounded like a fun idea when we were planning this, but I’ve since been reminded how much I don’t like a lot of remakes. Damn it.
Remakes are a mixed bag. Whenever I hear about one happening, my first question is always Why? Not necessarily in the Whyyyyyyyyy, That’s the worst idea evar!!!!11! sense. More in the, Why are you making this? Is this solely a money making venture, in which case see above? Or is this an actual effort to tell an old story in a new way? Are you bringing something new to the table? Should I actually be inspired by this production?
Usually it’s just another money making venture. Which, granted, when you think about it, is a remake really any worse than another terrible sequel? We can only send Jason to space so many times… Or once. Once was probably enough.
There are some good remakes out there! Take The Fly for instance. Or John Carpenter’s The Thing. Both great movies, removed enough from the originals to be their own films rather than just derivative works or sad mockeries of greatness.
Sadly, I didn’t watch either of those movies this year. I’ve watched them in past years and you can check out what I wrote about them. Matthew is also writing about The Fly this year so make sure to give that a read.
But since I’ve done them already, I had to come up with new ones. And maybe I have not chosen well.
Without further ado, here’s my first day of horror. A remake of a movie I didn’t like all that much to begin with, I Spit on Your Grave.
I Spit On Your Grave, 2010. Dir Steven R. Monroe, Written by Stuart Morse. Starring Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard.
I don’t know why I picked this movie. I’m just going to straight up say that. I don’t like Rape/Revenge movies. I don’t like Torture Porn. I’ve seen the original and I didn’t much like that either.
Why did I pick it then? To challenge myself, is a big part of it. One thing I really wanted to do this year was to pick movies that would make me uncomfortable. A no holds barred, we’re doing this, kind of thing. I guess I kind of got what I was asking for.
Okay, so the movie itself, it’s not really good. As far as remakes go, it’s fine. It’s not offensive, strictly in that it does justice to the original. It’s plenty offensive in other ways. It’s competently put together. The acting is pretty bad but again, it has pretty low standards to live up to. Sarah Butler is passable when she’s screaming which is most of the time so there’s that.
But. It’s a Rape/Revenge/Torture Porn flick and I just simply do not like those. I’m not gonna get past this anytime soon. Or ever.
It’s also kind of long. Or at least feels long. The beginning is mildly intriguing, I was curious to see what they were going to do, but then we get to the rape parts and there was way more of that than I needed. Same case in the original but still. The pacing in this movie is a problem. Because after the rape part happens there’s this weird lull in action where NOTHING happens. I mean, crimes get covered up, there’s a bit of mystery, other stuff happens I think… The transition between the first half and the second half of this movie is just bizarre. I think it was maybe an attempt at character development but it’s so freaking slow and at this point we’ve also watched these men perform hideous acts and I don’t really want to get to know them as people.
The original gets this right, we get enough of a back story on the characters for context but we don’t dwell on them. Works for me.
After the weird middle that just bored me, we get to the Revenge/Torture part. And this is where the movie really lost me. It’s not just the devolving into torture porn, it’s the way it treats our original victim, Jenny. Yes, in the original she’s crazy by the time she gets her revenge. But it still at least feels like she’s on some side of Right. Even if it’s an ugly side. In this movie, this Jenny is so deep into crazy, she crosses lines and it’s hard to even sympathize with her anymore. There are moments of it but she gives up whatever moral high ground she had and becomes just as bad, if not worse, than her attackers. Which, wasn’t that kind of the point? That her revenge was justified?
I guess, it’s just this whole victim shaming, she was asking for it culture that we live in. They touch on that in this movie, which cool, but then they go and make her into a paranoid crazy person, even before she’s attacked, so in the end when someone says “Sure, she was raped, but look how crazy she was. She’s worse than they are.” You can’t really argue with them.
Ugh, I just want to stop thinking about this movie. It’s in my brain! Get it out of my brain!
I wasn’t going to make a video for today, but I had such a strong, negative reaction to this movie that I had to do something. So I did. This basically sums up my feelings of ick.
That’s all I’m going to say about this, because I’m just done talking about it. But feel free to add your thoughts in the comments! Have you seen I Spit on Your Grave? The original or the remake? Or both? What do you think of them?
I may not love all of the movies I write about this week, but I promise I like them more than this one!
Come back tomorrow for Day 2. And if you’re doing your own 31 Days, share your links in the comments or hit me up on twitter. Let’s watch scary movies together!