Top positive review
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This movie deserved to be made and lives up to its potential!
on November 26, 2010
The worst comments I see with regards to this movie come from both sides of the remake debate. Some argue that it should never have been remade because they are fans of the original. Other argue that it shouldn't be remade because of the concept.
If the concept offends you, pick up your opinions, there's the door - now leave! Don't turn around, just go! I've had enough of the 'it's bad because it's a rape movie' bull. If it's not your cup of tea, so be it! I probably feel as strongly against 'Sex & The City' but you don't see me shooting those fans down because of taste!
Okay, am I good to continue now?
So you're either a fan of the original, new to this movie, or just interested.
If you're a fan of the original, then I honestly can't tell if you'll like this movie. I HATED the original. I felt it had a very good premise that was poorly executed and in the end just came across as offensive (by the way, I'm female). I thought the concept was good but the manner in which the protagonist went about her revenge was stupid! If a woman has been raped, the very last thing she'd ever be comfortable doing is stripping off in front of the very men who raped her, no matter what her end objective may be! At this point the original made me angry. There's only so much believability I'm willing to sacrifice when I watch a movie - and I'd had enough.
So when I heard this movie was being remade, I was actually quite intrigued. Again, I believed the premise was a good one and I was hoping a new writer and director could do it justice.
They sure did, and some!
The rape scene is brutal and it is hard to watch. However, at the same time, it's not as bad as some make it out to be. I felt it was a perfect balance. It showed enough, without going too far that I felt too uncomfortable to watch any more. There's enough there to shock you and have you empathize with Jennifer when she starts her revenge. It is definitely not as bad as 'Irreversible', a movie I, and many others in the same movie theater, ended up walking out of. When I saw this movie, no one walked out!
I also felt that this movie was never titillating. Nudity is actually kept to a minimum and the only time we see Jennifer completely naked is following her rape where she is in an almost catatonic state, just trying to get away. You'd have to be the sickest of the sick to see anything but the character's fear, humiliation and determination in this scene.
I found the portrayal of the characters to be much more believable this time and the mentally challenged character, Matthew was a million times better than the original. They ditched the dorky glasses (no missing lenses in this film at least) and decided to get someone who could actually act instead! Matthew is played with such childish vulnerability that you find yourself conflicted. He does rape Jennifer, but it was peer pressure and afterwards he feels so guilty that he's effectively torturing himself without Jennifer's help...but, he STILL raped her! It's a tough one!
A great addition to this film is the sheriff. At risk of spoiling the movie, I'll leave it at that but his involvement in this new version was a fantastic move.
When Jennifer's revenge comes into play, you could find yourself often wondering if she's going too far. I never found myself empathizing with the rapists (other than Matthew, to a degree) but I often just wanted her to get it over with already. That enough was enough. It was nice to see such extremes on both sides, to see what people are really capable of. What do the rapists REALLY deserve? How far would YOU go? No one could possibly know unless directly in Jennifer's shoes, so even if you find yourself questioning the extreme nature of her actions, you'll find yourself equally stepping back and thinking - well this is her party, who am I to question how extreme she should be?
The best feature of this movie, though, is that it's a smart movie! There's some nice symbolism in there and it's quite clever the way it plays out. What makes it even better, though, is that you don't have to get any of this to 'get' the movie. It was like an added bonus! In the same way adults watch 'The Simpsons' and get the adult humor, the children who don't get those jokes don't dislike the show any less - they just don't get the whole picture. I don't want to spoil the movie so I won't go into details but the final death was sheer genius. The reversal of roles determining who's the one pulling the strings now! Loved it!
When you hear the work that went into this independent movie and the amount of pride the people involved have in the outcome, it's only fair that you at least give it a chance. I think a lot of people would be pleasantly surprised. The reviews on here are not reminiscent of the reviews out there on the internet, where there's a lot of well placed praise for this movie. Amongst its target audience and horror fans, this movie delivers.
Unfortunately it had a limited release, it didn't even show in the movie theaters where I live (I was lucky enough to visit LA during its run there) but I'm looking forward to the DVD release so my friends can finally see it!