I Spit On Your Grave 3 - Vengeance Is Mine
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I Spit On Your Grave 3 - Vengeance Is Mine

The most lamentable variations of horror is something collegially known as ‘Torture Porn’. This is where the filmmaker substitutes and character development for the most extreme form of threatening your audience through visceral images. This categorization of horror flicks is epitomized by one of its best-known adherents, the ‘Saw ‘franchise. There is always been alternative to psychological thriller that was graphically supportive but the traditional slasher flick pales in comparison to any movie in this classification. Saw and other movies created in exploding footprints goes far beyond exposing the audience to a series of increasingly bizarre means of thinning out the teenage population. Torture Porn glorifies the torturer specifically showing the protagonist as a person whose depth of depravity that would be the envy of Tomás de Torquemada. Typically the domain of male characters there is one franchise that is interested into example of female empowerment, ‘I Spit on Your Grave’. To be more specific as to the subject of this consideration, ‘I Spit on Your Grave 3: Vengeance Is Mine’. The original was released in 1979 and directed by Meir Zarchi, was immediately condemned as one of the most violent films ever as it depicted the gang rape and torture of a young woman who eventually gets free returns to visit vengeance upon her tormentors in-kind so explicitly depicted that the movie was the end in several locations.

In 2010 the film was remade by American filmmaker, Steven R. Monroe remade the film it was again met the condemnation of critics and audiences alike. Mr. Monroe created a sequel which was released in 2013 where another young woman was lured into the same situation of rape and torture. That brings us up to the current film released in 2015 with the directorial responsibilities have been taken over by the fledgling director, R.D. Braunstein. This outing features the return the 2010 star; Sarah Butler portraying the principal character Jennifer Hill. The context of this movie is set with Jennifer moving to a new town and changing her name to Angela in hopes of rebuilding a life putting her horrendous past behind her. Just change the names Angela. To expedite the healing process and joins a support group for rape victims where she meets Maria (Jennifer Landon) who has been utilized repeatedly by her now ex-boyfriend.

When I first received the official press release and screener notification for this movie I admitted experienced a degree of trepidation concerning viewing it. After all, having gone through the original film, the remake and its sequel I felt that I had more than had my fill of gratuitous nudity and infliction of pain. I steeled myself and prepared to pick up my universal remote and hit play. After several chapters of the Blu-ray had passed I realized that the filmmaker had mad an honest, concerted effort to infuse his contribution to the franchise with something previously lacked; an actual realistic core plot. The series had been built upon the overly basic story of an attractive young woman attempting to gain a respite from civilization by retreating to a bucolic location. Once there the pastoral tranquility was crudely interrupted by a group of savage men that proceeded to torture, humiliate and rape her. The key to the series is her response; she obtained her revenge by hunting down those men and giving them the reverse perspective; that of the hapless victim. While many audience members could convince themselves they would react to that set of circumstances in a similar fashion but few people actually move to such a remote location conducive to such unrestrained mayhem. This film took the pathway more relatable to the viewer, the city at night. In order to effectively frighten a person with gruesome imagery cheap props and setting a foreboding mood is all that is required. To take the more difficult tact necessary for a psychological approach there is a need the storyteller to gradually build suspense and draw the audience in. this film did not completely succeed in that laudable goal but significant strides were made to cast the components of the franchise in a different light.

I felt it was necessary to acknowledge the significant changes in tone that the screenwriter, Daniel Gilboy included in his script as well as the stylistic alterations made by the director, R.D. Braunstein. Mr. Gilroy’s only screenwriting credit is this film but he was involved in the previous two installments of the series as a producer. Mr. Braunstein had directed to more mainstream horror films including one TV movie add on the Lifetime network. The changes that were implemented in this film necessitated working at the franchise from completely different vantage point. That was achieved by picking up at the main character from the 2010 film, Jennifer Hills, once again played by Sarah Butler. The story resumes in specified time following a survival in retribution of the gang rape. She is trying to change her life completely taken the first step of adopting a new name, Angela. It is under alias that she attempts a decidedly more conventional means of healing that she has attempted previously.

During a break in the meeting she steps outside deciding whether to leave or not but she bumps into Maria and joins her for cigarette break. Angela is immediately drawn to the no-nonsense, strong will of Maria. She is tired of being the victim wants to give the taste of their own medicine. The become fast friends and begin hanging out with each other and with their courage bolstered and common sense diminished by a night of drinking the start getting back at men they deem to be abusive. His thoughts are simply about bypassing a man but soon the level of violence escalates to psychological humiliation and threats of violence with no doubts as to whether or not it would be administered. Maria wants to go back to her ex-boyfriend work things out but when Angela finds out that Maria was murdered community knows that was the boyfriend who did it. Something snaps and Angela forcing her to retreat back to remind set similar to that in the forest. She hunts down the ex-boyfriend and brutally murdered him. The police officers interrogate the members of the support group one man whose daughter was raped and later committed suicide but her attacker was freed on a technicality, blurts out that a person like that should be sodomized with a metal pipe. Angela dresses like a prototypical girl in order to lure that killer to a deserted location. There Angela murders him the exact method outlined by the management the group. Discussed the police very suspicious that you murders occurring close together both connected to the events affecting people in the support group. The violence does escalate as Angela, nee Jennifer, spirals further out-of-control and now proactively hunts the next victim.

Although the fundamental theme of this film retains the macabre perversion of female empowerment embraced by the franchise as a whole, the acts of violence are sufficiently tone down. This is not to say that they are absent for the scenes or not revolting, they are but somehow the urban environment and moving the character array from self-attribution to a vigilante avenging his situation, somehow ameliorates the perception of violence at least to some degree. It does manage to alter the film to a hard-core example of the vigilante film. At least the urban setting and vigilante motif makes it easier for the audience to identify with as stylistically similar to movies such as ‘The Punisher’. This film may have pulled the franchise a bit closer to the mainstream by sincerely hope that this is the last installment of the franchise. The conclusion did show Angela facing the consequences of her action but also made it quite certain that prison has only hope to improve her menacing skills.

Posted 10/26/2015

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