Bound To Vengeance
Richard Tyson, Amy Okuda, Tina Ivlev
…an excellent indie thriller…
Revenge films, particularly those where the protagonist is a terrorised woman being brutalised by a gang of men, can easily fall under scrutiny for their lurid eye. These Femsploitations, as recently as the rebooted I Spit On Your Grave trilogy, are sometimes too focused on the victimisation of their protagonists, as opposed to their eventual bloody vengeance. Jose Manuel Cravioto’s Bound To Vengeance skips this problematic ghoulishness by setting its sights firmly on what really should be the selling point of these films in the first place: the revenge.
When we’re first introduced to Eve (Tina Ivlev), she is being held captive in a dark basement by Phil (Richard Tyson). Spotting an opportunity, Eve escapes his clutches, but upon realising that he has other women incarcerated around town, she forces Phil to help her set them free…but not everything is as it seems. Despite Eve’s best intentions, her white knight attitude puts her into contact with people who are not as strong as her. PTSD, Stockholm Syndrome, and even indifference to their own plight means that Eve struggles to rally the troops.
Bound To Vengeance is a brutal film that doesn’t rely on brutality. Reminiscent of Nicolas Winding Refn’s (Drive, Only God Forgives) aesthetic, its slick neon visuals offset its grimy underbelly. Whilst it could have been an excuse for 90 minutes of violence towards women, the film’s onus is very much on the aftermath of Phil’s brutal campaign of fear and abuse towards his “sweethearts.” We’re not invited to be a silent participant wallowing in their suffering, but we’re sure as hell going to be there when Eve storms the Bastille. With grounded performances from Ivlev and Tyson, this is an excellent indie thriller that tries to do something a little different from the norm.