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HORA
DVD region 2. Another World Entertainment.

HoraA young woman takes a break from the big city to move into an isolated house out in the sticks, in order to work on a novel. She soon attracts the attention of a couple of local lowlifes and their retarded friend, and their petty torments rapidly escalate into brutal gang rape - a fate they believe she both deserves and enjoys. When she recovers from the assault, the woman becomes a vengeful killing machine, punishing her assailants by pretending to seduce them before finishing them off in an orgy of castration and mutilation.

Sound familiar? It should, if you've seen either version of I Spit on Your Grave. But the film under discussion here is Norwegian shocker Hora (that's "whore' to you English speakers), which takes this exact plot and adds in a few twists (interestingly, it shares some new elements of the I Spit remake, despite preceding it - I won't spoil things by saying which, but fans will spot them), alongside some rather knowing grindhouse effects - cutting to black and white, film damage, missing reels, film burn - which add little other than irritation for the most part (though the loss of sound during the rape scene is disturbingly effective).

If you find I Spit on Your Grave offensive, you'll hate this film, as it ups the exploitation elements considerably. It shows some restraint - the rape scenes are relatively inexplicit compared to some other low budget sleazefests - but has plenty of graphic gore, extensive nudity and a pretty unsavoury, sometimes quite mean spirited atmosphere. You can take that as either a condemnation or a recommendation.

Isabel Vibe is nothing if not a trooper as she's put through the ringer, and the supporting cast are effectively loathsome, while director Reinert Kiil does a solid job for the most part (the aforementioned grindhouse effects, alongside attempts at dream-like bizarreness doesn't always work).

Not the most original film ever made then (despite what might be claimed in the extras), but as an I Spit pastiche, it's fairly effective.

DAVID FLINT

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