The most shocking thing about "I Spit on Your Grave" is that someone thought the 1978 original deserved a remake. That was an artless, poorly made, leering, phenomenally unintelligent chronicle of gang rape and intricate revenge. It set so low a bar that even this ill-conceived but slick venture can be called "better." Congratulations.
But why take the return trip? There's no suspense during the many long stalking sequences because we know what's going to happen when either beautiful soon-to-be-rape-victim or horrible soon-to-be-revenge-victims are being pursued. That's the problem (one, anyway) of making a film with nothing more than a premise. That's it, that's the whole movie. Oops, spoiler alert.
Here's another one: The apparent motivation to revisit this exploitation "classic" was to drastically increase the violence. Certainly, the rape and killings are more intricate, graphic, excruciating and nauseating. Hooray. At least the infuriating idiocy of the original sequences has been reduced.
But don't worry, this one is still mighty dumb.
The original somehow generated debate over whether it was misogynist or feminist; clearly the pointless remake's only "ist" is "sadistic." Sure, some folks get their jollies from seeing a woman extensively brutalized, presumably justifying their voyeurism by then enjoying watching men suffer tortures that are, to say the least, unlikely. But for most, there will be no adrenaline rush from fear or thrill, or vicarious release from seeing tormentors tormented; one leaves feeling sad. Sad that this is what "entertainment" has come to.
Come on, filmmakers. Can't you do better?
"I Spit on Your Grave." MPAA rating: Unrated. Running time: 1 hour, 46 minutes. Playing at the Mann Chinese 6, Hollywood.