Fright Nights: Double Feature - The Howling: Reborn / I Spit On Your Grave

Da'Mon Guy checks out two recent direct to DVD movies, both attempting to reintroduce a new audience to cult horror classics - The Howling: Reborn and I Spit On Your Grave.

The Howling: Reborn
30 years after the debut of the original movie comes The Howling: Reborn. This movie uses the cult classic as a starting point but is little more than an uninspiring, dismal attempt to cash in on the good name of the franchise. This is now the 8th installment in the series which started back in 1981. The newest addition to the franchise is based on the book The Howling 2, which was written in 1979 by Gary Brander. The series of films were originally based on the book of the same name written by Brander in 1977.

The Howling: Reborn is a coming of age story interwoven with a the tale of the supernatural. The scare factor is nearly non existent, and there is no real level of suspense. This lackluster catastrophe tells the story of a outcast/loner with a teenage crush gone wrong. It's a more a tale of ill fated love than a true horror story.

There are relatively few positive aspects to this tragedy, but it does offer a pretty good outlook on the perspective of werewolves. It speaks on the struggle between their remaining humanity and the animalistic nature that rages deep within.

The cinematography is certainly a detractor, and this film has some of the worst make up/special effects seen. Admittedly this is a direct to DVD video, but even judged at that level they are poor, with the fight scene between the wolves being as bad as it gets. The acting isn’t much better. Young Landon Liborion makes a good attempt in his lead role as Will Kidman, but his shortcomings are highlighted by a very weak production. As for the other members of the cast, they are as bad as the rest of the movie.

The Howling: Reborn offers a plot that worsens by the minute, it is another tragic victim of the success of Twilight and offers nothing but teenage eye candy for its young movie audience. It’s a complete misuse of the name of a long running franchise.

I Spit On Your Grave
Here we have a moderately entertaining, brutally violent, extremely inhumane film about revenge, redemption, and retribution. I Spit On Your Grave is an inciting, thought-provoking tale that will assuredly spur a number of emotional responses. Unlike The Howling: Reborn this wicked story of vengeance stays truer to the original movie it is based on, essentially presenting an update of the 1978 cult classic. The two versions contain many similarities, including the plot and some character names, however, the modern one does build on the original significantly and antes up the brutality, violence, and torture.

Jennifer Hills is atrociously tormented, humiliated, repeatedly raped by five men, and left for dead. She narrowly survives and escapes, returning to exact vengeance on each one of them. Systematically hunting them down one by one, and implementing the same level of humiliation and torture to execute her revenge on each of them.

The raping of Jennifer is utterly heinous, graphic and extremely violent, however the torture that Jennifer exacts is even more violent and borderline sadistic. She sarcastically reminds each man of the twisted pleasure that they found in their role of raping her while maliciously torturing each one of them. The film is a tale that will stimulate a number of emotional responses, it forces you to question the nature of the revenge once she invokes it upon each of her assailants. Given the circumstances that Jennifer was forced to endure, is she justified? Or does she end up going too far?

I Spit On Your Grave includes one of the most malicious, merciless rape scenes you are ever likely to see on film, and then it presents some of the most callous, insidious acts of revenge and torture that you will ever bear witness to. One should only watch this if you have a strong stomach and high tolerance for graphic violence, as this film will test your conviction and endurance.

The movie isn’t a classic, and with the subject matter one should question why the original had such a cult following, but if you can stomach it then it is an inciting watch.

Whilst certainly not a movie for the weak of heart, of the two direct to DVD films reviewed here I Spit On Your Grave is easily the stronger.

Da’Mon is a writer and artist, a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011. Check out more of his work at, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.
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