Who's In It: Sarah Butler, Chad Lindberg, Daniel Franzese, Tracey Walter, Jeff Branson, Rodney Eastman, Andrew Howard
The Basics: A young female writer retreats to a cabin in the woods to work on her novel. On the way there, she stops for gas and inadvertently attracts the wrong kind attention from a group of hick townies and a local sheriff who have only rape, rape and more rape on their collective mind. They do this to her in a pretty gruesome (and unrated) way and leave her for dead. She, in turn, murders every single last one of them in the nastiest, most violent manner possible, constructing intricate and imaginative death scenes for each, torturing them to their last breath. Moral: Don't mess with the MFA in fiction writing, jerks!
What's The Deal: The original 1978 version of this movie (sometimes known as Day of the Woman) came at a time in the culture when extreme onscreen brutality of this sort wasn't as commonplace as it is now. And that 35-cent-budget of sickening, jolting splat, a film full of gross-looking rapists and a shocking amount of grimy, extended, sexual torture, prompted a firestorm of debate among audiences and critics about the exploitation of women in horror. (Read the book Men Women and Chainsaws for a whole bunch of smart-thinking on the subject.) This remake exists in that movie's shadow and, instead of attempting to outshock the original, ups the elaborate revenge aspect and gives you something to shamelessly cheer for. That is, if you're the kind of person who cheers for rapists getting their eyelids permanently opened with fishhooks so birds can come peck them out. And if that sentence just made you sick to your stomach then this one's not for you because that the nicest thing that happens to anyone.
And The Winner Of The Contest For Rapiest Movie Of 2010 Still Goes To: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. And the reason why will sound weird. There's less sexual violence in Dragon Tattoo, but it comes with the kind of blunt-force impact you really feel, along with a somewhat more realistic approach to its aftermath. There's revenge, but it's part of a larger story of a woman who has to live with her own violent nature and its consequences. The brutal rape taking place in this movie exists as a kind of fiery hoop you have to jump to to get to the gimmick you actually came to see: the victim's highly detailed and crazily implausible score-settling killing spree. And unlike the original film, the camera actually shies away from the most evil elements of her violation and pulls visual punches, possibly to avoid being considered misogynistic. Somehow that feels weirdly wrong to me.
And Another Thing: The definitive horror revenge movie is still the original version of Last House on the Left, a film that exposes the futility of getting even with murderers and yet still doesn't try to teach you a scoldy life lesson about it like, say, Funny Games.