11/28/2015

Bound to Vengeance

Title: Bound to Vengeance
Director: J.M. Craviato
Writers: Kieth Kjornes and Rock Shaink. Jr.
Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Amy Okuda, Bianca Malinowski, Stephanie Charles, Dustin Quick
Year: 2015
Min: 93

Eve (Tina Ivlev), who is chained in the basement of a house, hits her captor, Phil (Richard Tyson) with a brick. She manages to successfully free herself, but soon realizes that she needs to go back inside the house, which is in the middle of nowhere (of course!), to get the keys for the van parked outside. She looks throughout the house and stumbles upon pictures of various other girls, all of whom are also held prisoner but in various other houses and buildings. She soon forces Phil to show her where each of the girls are located, but it doesn't take her long to realize the nightmarish conditions that they are each held captive in.
I am a sucker for a good revenge film and Bound to Vengeance more than fits that bill. This solid and well crafted exercise in savagery is one of the year's best horror flicks. Writers Kieth Kjornes and Rock Shaink. Jr. manage to tell a story that sucks you right in, even if the road isn't completely new. Despite this it does manage to feel fresh enough where it never comes off as a rehash of anything you have seen before. There are enough interesting elements in the story to make it shine and standout.
Craviato's directing works well with the script slowly tying in nicely edited flashbacks with the present. They converge strongly with each other, as well as play off of each other with a nice contrast. We get to see Eve in "happier" days. It also adds a stronger punch to a revelation towards the end of the film. The director also masterfully builds suspense and tension. This reaches its maximum peak at the nail-biting climax. It becomes almost unbearable as your heart will be racing faster and faster. Craviato also does not flinch when comes to showing violence. Like most good (and bad, for that matter) revenge films, the bloodletting plays for keeps. Bludgeonings, blood spattering squibs, and impalings round out the mayhem.
But, it's the two leads who really propel the film to levels of excellence. The beautiful Tina Ivlev plays a tough and determined heroine. We feel for her and are firmly on her side. She manages to add pathos and emotion so as not be a simple revenge driven killing machine. As her character goes through an increasing emotional and physical hell there is a psychological development that she plays to perfection. Meanwhile, Richard Tyson plays a sleazy, conniving, and tricky son of bitch that makes for a villain you want to see suffer. He is perfect for this role. The supporting cast also do nice work, even if their roles are considerably smaller in length.

Bound to Vengeance is just what fans of revenge films are looking for. It ends up being a more satisfying viewing experience than the more well advertised I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance Is Mine. It tells a compelling and well plotted tale with a good dose of nasty violence. Accompanied by excellent performances and extremely solid and strong directing, it is one of the best revenge films in recent memory.

** out of ****

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