Sarah Butler returns as Jennifer Hills in the sequel I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine (2015). After surviving from her ordeal in the original film, Jennifer has moved to a new city and changed her name to Angela where she works in a dead end job trying to cope with the constant nightmares of when she was raped. Her only solace is with her therapist (Harley Jane Kozak) and within her rape support group where she soon discovers a kindred spirit in Marla (Jennifer Landon), the rebel of the group. The two women become fast friends but unlike Jennifer, Marla has never confronted her rapist and itches for retribution.
When Marla turns up dead apparently from the same person that raped her in the first place, Jennifer realizes that the cops won’t do anything and that it is up to her to get vengeance for her friend. Suffering from waking nightmares in which she exacts her fantasies of death and murder on random strangers, Jennifer fears that the darkness that she’s kept in check for so long finally needs a release and anyone in her way may fall victim to her own set of vengeance for all the wrongs done to women by predatory men.
Written by Daniel Gilboy (who co-produced the first two films in the rebooted franchise) and directed by R.D. Braunstein (taking over for Steven R. Monroe from the first two films) there is a lot to like and dislike about this film. First off it’s an interesting way in which to develop Jennifer Hills who is still suffering even after getting vengeance in the original film. The film treats the subject matter of rape in a respectful way as Jennifer is still traumatized in the aftermath of her original ordeal. Not even a therapist and support group is able to help her. It takes Marla’s uninhibited nature to force her to confront her own fears and overcome them. Gilboy and Braunstein decide to show audiences what Sarah is thinking by showing her murderous fantasies giving audiences a reason why she is such a broken woman. It also helps that Butler is such a phenomenal actress in this role. She gives a better performance than expected. She’s clearly the best thing in the film and even though some of her co-stars are not nearly up to par she carries the film very well.
On a more somber note, Monroe’s directorial style is sorely missed in this film as Braunstein just can’t stage the death scenes as effectively as he can so some of the visuals do come off as flat, but Braunstein does let his flare show in Jennifer’s murderous waking nightmares, which is where most of the blood and gore can be found.
Overall this is an effective sequel that all though not as strong as the original still manages to pack a punch as we get to see what happens next after Jennifer has had her own vengeance (in the original film) and refuses to sit by and let it happen to anyone else (in this film).