Review: BOUND TO VENGEANCE

BoundWhen it comes to female captive/revenge films, it’s become such a common practice of injecting rape scenes to inject a hefty amount of shock into what is an already scary idea of a situation. It’s been done so much within the last 30 years, that it’s easy to find yourself expecting it in these types of films, and expecting a rape scene isn’t a very good thing either. When a film like José Manuel Cravioto’s BOUND TO VENGEANCE comes along, it gives you a breath of fresh air, illustrating the fact that there doesn’t have to be unnecessary rape scenes in every female revenge film to be effective, well written/performed and ultimately, a film that is able to stay with you long after it’s over.

Opening with Phil (Richard Tyson), entering a house in the middle of nowhere, making his way into a room in which we see Eve (Tina Evlev), chained up and held captive against her will, BOUND TO VENGEANCE never feels the need to waste time. Within the first ten minutes, Eve shows her survival instincts and not only gets loose of the chains, but frees herself and injures Phil. While realizing that she’s in the middle of nowhere, she reenters the house, finds photos of more women who are held aptive and takes Phil captive, in an attempt to save them.

While this is all happening, we’re periodically given small glimpses of a home video that shows Eve and her boyfriend Ronnie (Kristoffer Kjornes) having a nice day out, prior to her being abducted. These flashes are peppered throughout the film, and with every twist, we’re given more and more to slowly put together. What sets BOUND TO VENGEANCE apart from so many other similar films, is how it bypasses the typical character arc of the captive slowly finding the courage to escape and overcome. Eve is a strong-willed and completely pissed off character from the beginning, so as a viewer, you find yourself on the edge of your seat, wondering where her quest to rescue each captive woman will end. Phil insists that there’s a bigger picture involved, and as Eve finds out, some of the women are psychologically damaged beyond the point of rescue. It’s a sad revelation when that happens at one or two points in the film, but like someone on deep quest, Eve feels somewhat responsible for these women and she refuses to give up.

The mind-games that Tyson’s character of Phil attempts to play with Eve shows just how great of an actor he is, there are such slimy yet soft nuances to the character of Phil and Tyson does an excellent job showing multiple sides to the character, leaving the audience curious about which one of the characters will win the cat and mouse, back and forth. Evlev also shines as Eve, and with every layer of the film slowly peeled away, it shows a lot of character development and offers up an interesting and fresh take on a type of film that has in a lot of ways been done to death.

BOUND TO VENGEANCE is the type of film that other revenge films should aspire to be like. A film that showcases great character development, excellent performances, and an experience that you find yourself absolutely loving.

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