Brutal. Intense. Unforgettable. Three words that describe my feelings about I Spit on Your Grave. This was a hard film for me to watch. It begins with a hip, sweet 70's girl who rents a summer house to write her first novel. There she is savagely raped several times and left for dead. These scenes were difficult to watch. I though Wes Craven's Last House on the Left (1972) was brutal until I saw this film. Camille Keaton is truly a marvel as Jennifer Hills. Her performance as the victim is powerful, completely convincing and nearly impossible to watch. This is as intense and honest as horror ever gets!
Thankfully, I watched the whole film because Jennifer does get her revenge and kills all of her attackers. However, she doesn't do it in a Quentin Tarantino, guns a-blazing style. She gets her revenge as a fully empowered and very angry woman. It would have been predictable and much easier to go the other way so this was a refreshing surprise in the way the story line developed.
The critics really pan this film but I'm not sure why. Yes, it is very low budget. Yes, the direction is a bit lacking at times. Yes, the rest of the actors' performances range from adequate to awful. However, Ms. Keaton channels something raw and honest that is not to be missed.
As a warning, this film is definitely not for everyone. It is deeply disturbing but honestly conveys the horrors of sexual assault in a way that feels very honest and true. I don't need to see it a second time but I'm glad I at least saw it once.
RATING: Very Good.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.