When you want to tell a gritty, no nonsense tale of abuse, trust & revenge it’s probably advisable you come up with a better name then I Spit On Your Grave: Vengeance is Mine. Doesn’t it just make you cringe!?
If you’re thinking…wait, there were two sequels to the video nasty revenge horror, I Spit On Your Grave? Don’t despair! This third movie is actually a sequel to the remake series. In 2010 I Spit On Your Grave got a remake, it wasn’t great & you can read our review here. In 2013 it got an unrelated sequel with no returning characters & you can read our review of that movie here.
Which brings us to 2016 & the third movie in the series (and hopefully the last). Acting as a sequel to the first movie, Sarah Butler reprises her role as Jennifer Hills. Set some time after the horrific events that befell her, she is now living in LA under a pseudonym having escaped conviction.
She’s not finding it easy to move forward with her life though. Constantly having flashbacks to the events of the first movie & having fantasies about killing everyone who pretty much bothers her. Get used to these ‘dream murders’, they make up a lot of the films run time.
During one of her group therapy sessions, she bonds with Marla. A woman who has such a deep-seeded hatred of men that it’s borderline psychotic. The pair end up teaming up to extract minor revenge on men who are alleged to have committed sexual assaults. One night Marla takes it too far & almost kills a man. Shaken by the events, Jennifer & Marla part when Marla goes to meet her abusive ex-boyfriend.
The next day she is found dead.
Naturally Marla’s ex-boyfriend is the prime suspect but with little evidence, he walks free. This proves to be the final straw for Jennifer who decides she has to right the wrongs. All of them.
As a continuation of the Jennifer Hills story, I Spit on Your Grave III does a good job of exploring just what happened to her after the first film. Sarah Butler is a mighty fine actress & her frustration is both believable & understandable. What isn’t so convincing though is her abrupt change from her cold & calculating killer persona to ‘sexy red dress, super flirtatious to the level that she is off-putting’ character.
It’s played out so poorly making her look far less sympathetic as she throws herself at men in a desperate attempt to get them in a position so she can hurt them. Sure, 95% of men in this film are absolute creatures but others like her co-worker just seem to be nice guys.
The Jennifer Hills character just loses her way in the final third of the movie. This is not the same smart, revenge-driven woman who survived her ordeal in the first film. This woman is an idiot. It’s not revenge if it’s just the man on the street or a co-worker who was nice to you.
Now, it could be said that the murder of Marla was the breaking point for Jennifer. That the loss of her friend drove her over the edge. However in the instance of at least two of her victims (both terrible men) she planned it all out. She had enough sense & nuance to put the plan together so she could get away with it. She just didn’t seem to think about what would happen if something went wrong.
Like the previous movies, I Spit on Your Grave III is a gritty & grimy watch. You won’t come out of it feeling good but this time around it lacks a lot of impact. Maybe it’s because it’s the third movie but the more brutal scenes (anal rape with a big pipe) just lack polish, coming across more comical then anything else.
This is a series that has gone as far as it can. The torture/revenge based sub-genre of horror was hardly a popular one at the start (even if Hostel did well) & the well is as dry as a bone at this stage. Good acting from Sarah Butler doesn’t help lift I Spit on Your Grave 3 above the doldrums of its sub-standard story & poorly written characters.
I Spit on Your Grave III - Vengeance Is Mine