Review: BOUND TO VENGEANCE

unnamed (76)Women in peril only to exact vengeance on the men who do them wrong is pretty much its own genre now, especially in the horror community. What’s unfortunate is it is commonly used as a motif to allow plenty of screen time for graphic rape sequences. While it can add to a movie’s overall arc, there are far too many examples of the revenge aspect taking only a fraction of the running time in comparison to the abuse. Does this make the revenge that much more satisfying? Maybe. Quentin Tarantino makes a career out of putting his heroes through hell and back, only to lead to often violent consequences. However, he never makes the torture on his heroes appealing or pornographic. In KILL BILL: VOLUME ONE Buck takes a beating before he is ever able to lay a finger on The Bride. He never rapes her, but she treats him like he did.

In BOUND TO VENGEANCE, director Jose Manuel Cravioto tells the story of young Eve and how she escapes from the basement of her Nick Nolte-like captor, only to find herself needing his assistance. The film takes an interesting approach by opening with the escape, but she quickly learns that he might have other girls held captive in other locations and decides to take it upon herself to find them. Eve learns to keep herself guarded and to expect the unexpected as each location she goes to brings on a new surprise and revelations, not just about her captor, but about her own past.

There are hints of the psychological instability that every girl inherits as the result of their captivity, but BOUND TO VENGEANCE is a mean and quick thriller. Eve believes she can save all these girls and doesn’t think twice before letting them go, not aware of what they might have gone through compared to her own experiences. Each location toughens her up a little more, if not emphasized by the increasing amount of blood on her face as the movie rolls on.

Eve’s mission is intercut with home video footage of her moments with her boyfriend, Ronnie, whose whereabouts are suspiciously unknown. The footage is teasingly presented as if provide the viewer with clues as to how Eve got captured in the first place. Can we see her captor in the background of the footage? Is Ronnie lying dead somewhere?

Despite young, barely clothed women being held against their will by sweaty, older men, there’s actually not a single rape scene or any nudity that I can recall. That alone has to be commended as that seems to be the easy route to market a “woman takes charge” vehicle towards to the male demographic. Tina Ivlev really holds on strong to the end, providing a believable performance of a normal girl who is just trying to survive and becoming adaptable to dangerous situations. Exuding a Final Girl version of Jennifer Lawrence, the audience does root for her and hopes the film finds her some resolution in her quest. Does BOUND TO VENGEANCE find that sense of perseverance? You’ll just have to watch as her decisions take a toll and the “Love Hurts” cover enfolds the audience in violent revenge.

Leave A Comment