A young girl, chained in the basement of a sexual predator, escapes and turns the tables on her captor.
Originally known as Reversible – Bound to Vengeance is an independent horror thriller, which has been directed by Jose Manuel Cravioto. It starts with Eve (Tina Ivlev) talking into a camera, which is being held by her boyfriend Ronnie (Kristoffer Kjornes) She is outdoors, laughing, joking, talking about having children and all is good. But as depicted by the title, it’s not going to last. Then it flips to the present-day where we find her dirty, half dressed, chained and lying in a cold dank room. Phil (Richard Tyson) enters the room bringing her food but Eve fights back and smashes him in the head with a brick. She soon discovers that she’s in an isolated area and that she is not the only one. Using the tag line ‘Escape is just the beginning’ this truly is the beginning.
This film will undoubtedly be referred to as a ‘rape revenge’ or ‘female revenge’, which for me grates. Plus everyone always seems to draw comparisons to the only one film they can name – ‘I Spit on Your Grave’ 1978. But I’m not going to do that because it’s boring.
So what can I say about the film? Well, Bound to Vengeance delivers substance as it provides more than just an action followed by a consequence. Eve is on a journey and you are there with her, fighting with her and also questioning the choices that she makes. The flashbacks, which are triggered by words or actions, help to slowly unravel the whole sordid tale.
The writers Rock Shaink and Keith Kjornes have successfully incorporated into the script elements of surprise and a direction that is thankfully not revealed at the beginning of the film. This has been achieved through great character development and breaking through conventional preconceived ideas. I was always kept second-guessing and kept imagining what I thought would happen, only to discover that it wasn’t the case.
The actual filming style really suited the film and there were some pretty fantastic shots. One of my favourites was of a visually empowering shot of Eve, where she is wearing a dark hoodie and has a blood splattered face. It probably doesn’t sound great reading but when that moment arrives everything is encapsulated in that one instant.
It was also clear that the editing was perfectly executed as the whole film ran so smoothly.
What was actually quite pleasing for me was Ivlev was completely and utterly perfect for the role. I have seen quite a few films where beauty was picked over brawn but she had both of it going on. She was well matched to the physicality of the role and was convincing that she could punch her way out of a paper bag. Richard Tyson, who will be known for many things including the bad guy in Kindergarten Cop, seemed to be oddly natural playing the part of the depraved Phil. He was a great and highly plausible character; there was nothing that appeared far-fetched or bordering on the ridiculous.
Bound to Vengeance is violent and quite visceral at times. But unlike others that have gone before there were no scenes of sexual violence, it is only ever implied, which for some will make a more comfortable viewing. However, during acts of violence I cannot fault the realistic quality of the on screen impact. Everything was perfectly timed.
Cravioto has provided us with a film that is well executed and structured. He has taken everything that is great in an indie film and turned it into a first-class feature.
Words by Amanda Hunt @man_ders11