Bound to Vengeance (Blu-Ray) : Release Year - 2015

Overall Rating : 8/10

Directed By : J. M. Cravioto

Tina Ivlev
Richard Tyson (Flight of the Living Dead)
Amy Okuda
Bianca Malinowski (Halt and Catch Fire)

Supplied By : IFC Midnight/Scream! Factory

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : November. 30, 2015


Eve (Tina Ivlev) breaks free after being chained in a basement and abused for 9 months by a manipulative psychopath. Instead of fleeing, she discovers there are other girls just like her scattered around town. Now fueled with rage, she must force her captor to become the captive and lead her to the other girls… before it's too late.
In the film, BOUND TO VENGEANCE, a young woman named Eve Pritchard escapes her captor after spending what appears to have been months locked away in a basement. With her captor knocked unconscious, she searches for a way out, only to find evidence that suggests that she may not be the only one to have been kidnapped by the man. From then on, she makes it her mission to find, and subsequently rescue the others, With the man now barely clinging to life, Eve forces her captor to go along for the ride, as he gives up information on exactly where to find the girls. With his cooperation, the task seems easy enough, however, unbeknownst to her, it would be far more challenging. For she dives into a tangled web of manipulation and sex slavery. With blood, bullets and twists and turns along the way, just how it all relates to Eve, is eventually revealed to be the most shocking revelation of all.

Truth be told here. Although as of late I have seen a few decent films recently, I have to say that my slate hasn't seen a truly great film in awhile. When I go into such viewing slumps, with each film, I wonder if it will be the one to pull me out of it. Well, going into BOUND TO VENGEANCE, a film directed by J. M. Cravioto, this was my exact line of thinking. Fortunately enough, I have to say that this was a pretty solid film.

BOUND TO VENGEANCE is a film that is not unlike some of the best rape revenge films of the 70s, except to the fact that it is able to achieve a level of effectiveness without the graphic depiction of rape. Instead it gets the point across with implication, and it's way of storytelling, that seems to get much deeper, and darker as the film progresses. I liked the way in which the film begins with a man simply preparing a meal for him, or someone else. The setup offers no indication of where things would soon head, yet if you read the synopsis prior to going in, you know that this scene is merely the "calm before the storm". And indeed it is. It's because the man, whose name is Phil, has a secret hidden in the basement of a house. Her name is Eve, and she seems to have been held in this location for months. The feedings from Phil seem routine, yet on this occasion, things would go very different, as Eve would turn the tables, and get the upper hand on Phil. Eve's escape leads to a road trip of vengeance, as she has Phil in tow. Eve's rescue mission results in a roller coaster of events, which consists of both discoveries and truths alike, with Eve learning exactly how things for her, come to be. It's a film that definitely kept my interest throughout. It's one of those films that, as it moves along, feeds us fragments of clues, which are scattered about. Coming out of the film, of course these things add up now. But I must admit, that while watching, the film did a nice job of keeping me guessing. Many of these clues consists of home video of Eve and her boyfriend, Ronnie at a carnival of sorts. The footage in question, initially seems out of place, as it doesn't exactly fit into the look and feel of the rest of the film. But as the film moves along, it all comes together and makes more sense. Another avenue that the film uses, is the fact that the trauma seems to have caused Eve to forget details regarding her capture. Over the course of the film, Eve begins to slowly remember bits and pieces. At first, the little glimpses of flashbacks, which are presented stylistically, are confusing, but like the home video footage, once you come away from the film, you soon realize how it all relates to the story.

And speaking of style, the production values seen in BOUND TO VENGEANCE are slick in their presentation. First, the photography, looks and feels great. This is a film that feels indie, yet doesn't suffer from the "cheap" look. And along with its rather nice looking appearance, the film also has very nice editing that is mostly pleasing to the viewers eye, while it keeps our attention. While, I admit, that sometimes a film may not keep my full attention, causing me to become distracted(and cause a number of rewinds in the process), that wasn't the case here. It had my attention, as I, many times scratched my head in wonder. Early on, I more or less figured out one of the film's plot twists, however I was not sure. But the good thing about BOUND TO VENGEANCE is that, whether I was right or wrong about it, it still managed to keep my interest.

When comes to the acting in BOUND TO VENGEANCE, I really do not have anything bad to say. I thought that everyone did a great job. The film is led by two leads in Tina Ivlev and Richard Tyson. Ivlev essentially leads the way as "Eve". This film is basically all about a girl who transitions from victim, to hero over the course of the film. She is strong and determined, and is definitely someone that the audience gets behind. In the role, Ivlev gives us a performance that is both emotional and powerful. It's a performance that has us going along with the character on her dark journey. Opposite Eve, we have veteran Actor Richard Tyson, who plays her captor, "Phil". The film, like the Eve character, is able to retain some mystery when it comes to Phil. We know he's obviously a bad guy, we are just never too sure, just how bad. The character that Tyson presents, is both sleazy, and selfish. I feel that the film purposely left some of the details regarding Phil fairly vague, which in the end, turned out for the better of the film. Elsewhere, there are a few other "bad guys", and a rescuee, a girl named "Lea", played by Actress Bianca Malinowski, and Eve's boyfriend, "Ronnie", portrayed by Kristoffer Kjornes, but neither play as big a part as to Ivlev and Tyson. Overall, as I said, however, I felt that the performances were great.

In the end, personally, I felt that BOUND TO VENGEANCE was a pretty solid effort, with plenty of excitement, style and suspense. It has the implication of the kind of vile acts that we hate, and the type of revenge that we root for, involving the plight of a sympathetic character. The film comes to a close with a little ambiguity, in which the viewer must come to their own conclusion. I think it's safe to say what the viewers obvious choice will be in the end. But then again, that's the beauty of it all.
4.5/10 An impalement, a wrench embedded into one's skull, multiple gunshot wounds, as well as a few other instances of blood.
5.5/10 BOUND TO VENGEANCE features a score which ranges from fever pitched suspense, to somber atmosphere.
I really enjoyed BOUND TO VENGEANCE, as it is a film that truly kept my interest and made me care, and made me wonder. Story-wise, I would compare it to THE SEASONING HOUSE, a film that, while I liked its general idea and direction, just felt that it was more of a missed opportunity. However, BOUND TO VENGEANCE is a film that takes the idea to a place that is more worthwhile. The characters are interesting, as are the plot developments, with a conclusion that, while ambiguous, is pleasing overall. I recommend.


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