I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine movie full length review - She who fights with monsters. A film series salvaged after a disappointing sequel.
I must say, after my big disappointment from the sequel, I didn't think I would really take the time to watch number 3.
However, as soon as I saw that the wonderful Sarah Butler was thankfully back, and that the plot actually aims to continue the first film - I figured I'd give it a chance. Boy, am I glad I decided to do that, as "Vengeance is Mine" salvages any and all damage done by the previous sequel (which wasn't bad, simply unworthy).
As the synopsis says, unlike no. 2 which was nothing more than a failing tribute (although to a certain extent fun to watch, don't rule it out yet), no. 3 is the actual sequel. Haunted by both the brutalizing gang rape and abuse she'd been through and her terrible violent acts of revenge, Jennifer (now Angela) is trying to cope with the world she believes she lives in - no friends, no altruism, always strings attached, and a blunt battle between predators and prey. Unlike the 2nd film, the acting in this one is as amazing as in the first, with terrific additions like Jennifer Landon as the neurotic Marla and Doug McKeon as the traumatized Oscar.
While the first film was all about abuse and vengeance and crime and punishment, the 3rd aims to be a lot deeper and more philosophical. The police has a very central role in the plot, after having a minor one in the sequel and being non-existent in the first. Angela finds herself having to lie and hide in order to do what she defines as right, while her rage and frustration threaten to claim the lives not only of those guilty, but of others as well. The film criticizes not only the monsters who commit the crimes and the system that pathetically fails to punish them - but also the crossing of the line between justice and injustice.
Vengeance is Mine was probably out to offer and upgraded plot. The actual acts of abuse receive no screen time, excluding Angela's flashbacks from the events of the first film. The film aims to show the conflict between the reality experienced by rape victims (a misogynistic world where men are either monsters, incompetent pawns or fathers of victims) and the reality that is actually out there, where the truth is gray and there are no absolutes. The victims who turn to violence are criticized as badly as the monsters who made them that way, and the system is criticized for its alleged successes as well as its blunt failures.
All in all, unlike the first film, this one is not a plain vengeance film, and we often find ourselves wondering who the monster really is. While having a much deeper message, it fails to deliver the pure satisfaction given by the first film (although "fails" is probably a wrong choice of words, as it obviously had no intention of doing so). After the painful plunge of the 2nd film - the 3rd offers the salvation of the series. Not as good as the first, definitely way better than the 2nd. The added value is obvious, the acts of vengeance still immense, and the overall experience definitely worthy of the time spent watching.