“They torture me, rape me and leave me for dead,” tells Sarah Butler of her character in the remake of I Spit on Your Grave.  

Butler plays a young novelist, Jennifer Hill, who goes to a secluded cabin to work on her second novel and get away from it all. When the males in the area become threatened by the “rich city whore,” they take out their anger with extreme violence that leads to a gang rape and Hill’s death.  

Little does this atrocious group of guys know that Hill is going to get her revenge.

In 1978, the original I Spit on Your Grave caused quite a stir from audiences due to its explicit content.  

“We’ve already got a lot of people unhappy about our film. There [are] also a lot of people stoked to check it out because of the name,” says Butler.

“I don’t know if we can rival the controversy with the original, just because people are so used to being shocked these days, and that’s what they’re looking for,” Butler explains. With the original, “no one had ever seen such nudity, sexuality and brutal violence all in one. I think that’s why it got so much notoriety.”  

Living out every woman’s worst nightmare of being assaulted and raped, Butler naturally wrestled with personal fears during filming.  

“Shooting it, you can’t help but be affected by the material,” she says. “There were a couple of instances where I had to say to the other actors, ‘Look, I’m really scared to shoot this.’”

“It got to a point where I couldn’t get myself out of it right away. I’m sobbing and crying and scared out of my mind and [the director would] yell, ‘Cut,’ and I’d be like ‘OK, wow, that was good.’ Sometimes I had to cry it out a little bit,” admits Butler.

At times, after a scene was finished, Butler and her co-stars would say, “Oh my gosh, that was so scary and awful. It must have been really good.”

From the get-go, though, Butler felt prepared to take on the role.

“When I read the script, I had such a visceral reaction to it. I felt like I just had my own way of looking at it and how I wanted to approach it.”

Butler continues, “I didn’t really think about the pressures of trying to live up to [the original]. I look at it as my own interpretation. Of course, I wanted to respect the performance of Camille Keaton. We made all of the improvements from the original that were necessary.”

Butler’s character in I Spit on Your Grave wasn’t her first opportunity to play a role with a double-edged sword.

“There’s been a trend. I always seem to book these roles where the characters seem like they’re one thing and they become another, or maybe they have an ulterior motive,” says Butler. “It’s almost as if I’m playing two different characters. It’s like I’m shooting two different movies, but I’ve got the jobs backed up to another.”

In the future, Butler hopes to play the quirky girl next door.

“I want to show people I can do stuff like that [and] maybe some comedy,” tells Butler. “It sounds like fun to go on to a set and just joke around all day.”

While acting has taken front and center of Butler’s life, she also plans to finish her degree at some point. After a year and a half at USC, Butler decided to drop out and pursue acting. Since making that choice, she feels more productive.

“I feel like I know where I’m headed. It feels good,” she boasts.

She’s productive in more ways than one: Butler’s killer body you see on screen comes from long hours of exercising. She is part of a professional training group that gets together on weekends in Los Angeles. The exercises can range from hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains to kayaking in the Pacific Ocean

 Butler says, “It’s always so much fun.”

While Los Angeles is overflowing with extracurricular activities, Butler loves her time away as well.

“I kind of made a pact with myself that every summer I’m going to go to a different country. I’ve carried that out the past three years, so I want to keep going.”

I Spit on Your Grave releases in select theaters Oct. 8.