Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Little to no positive messages. There is a strong element of revenge in which perpetrators of violence are punished ... by violence.
Positive Role Models
The lead character, Jennifer, is intelligent and creative and shows resilience when put through a terrible ordeal. She also shows bravery in facing her attackers again, although this is in order to exact violent revenge. Johnny and his accomplices are sadistic and violent rapists who show no regard for Jennifer.
The main female character is continually victimized and sexualized throughout most of the film. The male characters are portrayed as aggressive and entitled. Different opinions categorize the film as an exploitative and misogynistic video nasty or offer a feminist slant showing the sexual violence through the woman's eyes to highlight the horrors of rape, suggesting that the revenge ending is empowering. There are some socio-economic stereotypes of the person from the city being wealthy and intelligent, with the characters from the rural area portrayed as less bright and less well off. An intellectually disabled character also falls into stereotype, expressing childlike qualities and being manipulated and bullied using terms such as "imbecile" and "idiot." There are no characters of color in the film.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Numerous prolonged scenes of strong sexual violence, including gang rape with a character having their clothing torn from their body. Torture, intimidation, and other brutal violence includes kicking, punching, being chased, struck with objects, strangled with a rope and hung from a tree, threatened with a gun, struck with an axe, lacerated with a boat engine, and a character having their penis severed with a knife and left to bleed to death in a bath tub. Characters are seen with serious wounds and dead bodies are shown. There is also mention of decomposing bodies.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Full frontal nudity is shown in a sexual context -- both male and female. Some consensual sexual activity is shown, including sexual intercourse and touching of genitals. There is mention of masturbation.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "f---ing," "s--t," "bastard," "a--hole," "pr--k," "bitch," "t-ts," and "jerk off." Also sexist terms like "broads" and "chicks," and instances of misogynistic talk of female promiscuity including terms like "slut," as well as victim blaming. The terms "imbecile" and "idiot" are used toward a character with an intellectual disability.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarettes are regularly smoked. Characters are seen drinking beer, wine, and spirits on a few occasions.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that I Spit on Your Grave is a controversial revenge horror film that features strong violence, including prolonged sexual violence, throughout much of its running time. After Jennifer (Camille Keaton) is subjected to a series of horrific sexual assaults she looks for revenge. Scenes of rape and other sexual acts are depicted on-screen. Full nudity is shown -- both male and female -- and frequent strong language used including "f--k" and "s--t." Due to the adult themes, and incredibly strong and continuous sex and violence, the film is not suitable for those under 18 and may also prove too upsetting for older viewers. The movie was banned in numerous countries around the world on its 1978 release and labelled a "video nasty." It was widely considered exploitative for years, though there are more recent reassessments that suggest a feminist slant. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
One of the most controversial "video nasties" out there, this 1978 horror's reputation very much precedes it. Banned in countries around the world at the time of its release, and still banned in some places, I Spit on Your Grave is famous for its brutal scenes of gang rape and its revenge storyline. Visually very dated, and lacking in high production values from the start, the film still relies heavily on its explicit nature and shock value. It continues to polarize audiences today. Some maintain that it is sick, nasty, and exploitative, its violence gratuitous and unnecessary. Others have studied the way the rape scenes are filmed and argue they are often from Jennifer's point of view and are therefore purposely portraying the horrors of the experience away from the male gaze.
Then there's the revenge aspect, in which Jennifer is considered to be empowered and somehow victorious in exacting physical violence on her attackers. This might make more sense were the runtime a little more balanced in her favor. Her ordeal takes up the majority of the film, with some of her male attackers "getting their comeuppance" in just a few short minutes. Remakes since have similarly failed to take a clear stance on some of these controversies and such is the impact of the film that it will likely remain a talking point for years to come. For those who are intrigued, go in prepared for a troubling experience guaranteed to make an impact -- whatever that may be for you.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.