Wednesday 2 March 2022

New Article on Revenge and I Spit on Your Grave (2010)

My article "Appealin
g, Appalling: Morality and Revenge in I Spit on Your Grave (2010)" will be published later this year in the Quarterly Review of Film and Video. A pre-print version of the article is available here


Despite being a prevalent theme in popular cinema, revenge has received little dedicated attention within film studies. The majority of research concerning the concept of revenge is located within moral philosophy, but that body of literature has been overlooked by film studies scholars. Philosophers routinely draw on filmic examples to illustrate their discussions of revenge, but those interpretations are commonly hindered by their authors’ inexperience with film studies’ analytical methods. This article seeks to bridge those gaps. The 2010 remake of I Spit on Your Grave is used as a case study to illustrate the benefits of an interdisciplinary engagement with revenge. Philosophical literature on the topic has routinely posited that revenge is either appealing or appalling, and that impasse has stifled conceptual understanding. The interdisciplinary approach employed here elucidates that revenge is simultaneously appealing and appalling; this dualistic nature is evident in I Spit on Your Grave since it is built into the narrative design. I conclude that an interdisciplinary approach to revenge has the potential to advance understanding of revenge-qua-concept both within films studies and philosophy.