Bound to Vengeance
Directed by José Manuel Cravioto
A young woman, Eve, fights back and manages to escape a malicious abductor. However, after discovering she may not be the only victim, Eve unravels a darker truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor.
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★★★½ review by Mr. DuLac on Letterboxd
Tell me where they are.
The description of the film brought to mind the piece of garbage film I Spit on Your Grave, but I gave it a chance anyways because of a recommendation. While Grave spends almost half it's running time featuring the degrading torture of a female victim, THIS film actually skips all that and gets right to the escape and revenge part.
Not seeing our protagonist, Tina Ivlev, tortured for an hour takes away nothing from the film. If anything the revenge in the film is even more cathartic then anything in Grave because more thought was put into how the hell the character went through changed her... possibly for the worst.
As soon as we see Eve (Ivlev) chained by her ankle in a dank basement, we don't need any explanation of why she's there or what she probably went through and the film feels no need to show us. Instead it centers and what happens next as she takes her capture prisoner, the great Richard Tyson, and proceeds to force him to bring her to other women that are being held captive throughout the city.
There's natural tension that builds up as Eve doesn't know what to expect as she goes to each house and Ivlev is great in the role. She plays Eve as a character that is out for vengeance even if she's unsure of what she's doing next or what exactly she wants to do to get it.
Bottom line is that the film is about Eve going from victim to something else, what specifically is what she is struggling with and it comes down to her deciding how far she's willing to let her vengeance go. The original title of the film was Reversal, a title I think they should have kept.
★★★½ review by bree1981 on Letterboxd
A taunt revenge thriller that didn't go at all like I expected, not wasting anytime showing us the torture or sexual assualt of the female victim, the film refreshingly skips straight to her escape and shows her turning the tables on her former captor.
The film follows the story of Eve (Tina Ivlev), shown via flashbacks on a home video recording on a day out with her boyfriend to be a normal, fun-loving 21 year old. As we cut to the present day, Eve is now being held captive in the basement of a sexual predator (Richard Tyson). When he returns to check on her, Eve brains him with a loose brick and attempts to flee before realising that the house is in the middle of nowhere. While searching the house for a set of van keys she discovers photos of various other girls being held and abused. Determined to save the girls she revives her captor but he vows if the police become involved the girls will die where they lie, he promises to take Eve to each location and so begins a deadly game of cat and mouse, full of some genuinely surprising twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat.
Eve, comes across as a bit too eager to save the girls herself but as more and more of her story is revealed via the home video flashbacks we begin to see understand why she is desperate for redemption.. The director also does a great job of building the tension from each location they visit as we are never sure what's going to be behind the door, is there an abused girl, chained and waiting to be saved of is Eve walking into a trap set by her manipulative abductor. It becomes apparent that there is a whole network of sexual predators at work and as the danger escalate's so does the bodycount, with the film not skimping on the gore and brutality.
Tina Ivlev is a magnetic presence in the leading role, not an actress I'd ever heard of before this film but one I'll be keeping an eye out for in the future, she manages to strike the perfect balance between emotionally fragile and the cold hearted, avenging angel, she really is a force of nature. Richard Tyson also excels as the manipulative Phil, a scumbag of the highest order who will do whatever it takes to get out of his fraught situation.
Overall, this is a compelling film that hooks you in and doesn't let go until the credits roll, it can be disturbing and brutal but it's also smart and emotional and features a pay-off that doesn't make you feel cheated, the kind of film that deserves to be seen by more people, highly recommended.
★★★★½ review by Natasha C. on Letterboxd
Thank youuuuuu José Manuel Cravioto, finally something i like!!!
Really liked this movie, really did, we need more stuff like that, think out of the box people!!!
No more ghosts, apparitions, haunting films, it's getting boring!!!
★★★½ review by Cappie on Letterboxd
It wasn't personal.
Some nasty torture horror Bound to Vengeance is not. Yes, it is violent and grim, but it is restrained and focused like few other revenge films are. As Eve attempts to hurt the core of those that have done bad (unexplained, unseen) things to her, the story stops becoming about the violence of the situation, and becomes about the personal loss she taken - physically, mentally and emotionally - at the hands of her captors.
It wins points for telling instead of showing, it doesn't hold on violence and it doesn't bath in it - this isn't about revenge, it is about the character we are on this journey with. It doesn't fully accomplish its goal though, as the director doesn't full sell the character study moments and doesn't give his lead character enough space to fully explore the situation. But it does benefit from being short and sharp (covering its thin plot), it doesn't linger too long, with it ending at the perfect moment.
It is hard to call this a great film, but it was a refreshing surprise, and whilst I doubt I'll ponder it for long, it certainly made me stop for a moment.
★★★½ review by Bulldog Pointer on Letterboxd
Revenge film that centers on the revenge.
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