If the initials IFC grace the beginning of a horror/thriller film, I find myself watching it with a heightened sense of anticipation. IFC has established itself as a relatively successful company known for its successful and experimental forays into the realm of horror cinema. Even renowned horror enthusiasts like Eli Roth have chosen to collaborate with this company. “Bound to Vengeance” may appear ordinary from an external perspective, akin to any run-of-the-mill TV horror film. However, this is far from the case. Directed by the relatively unfamiliar Mexican filmmaker Jose Manuel Cravioto, the film is anything but cliché; it possesses an original tale of vengeance. In these respects, IFC genuinely shines as a successful and visionary entity, offering fresh perspectives on such themes.
Allow me to briefly delve into the plot… Eve is trapped in a basement, bound in chains, by a deranged man. The deranged man holds Eve captive out of his twisted affection for her. Eve manages to escape by incapacitating her captor, who brings her food. While searching for car keys to flee the premises, she stumbles upon an unexpected revelation: She is not the only prisoner. There are many other women whom this madman has abducted and concealed. Rather than escaping, Eve decides to turn the tables on her captor and set all the imprisoned women free. However, Eve is in for a series of surprises: In each house she visits, she encounters something far worse than her platonic admirer.
As mentioned earlier, IFC’s films are of high quality, and “Bound to Vengeance” stands even higher. The director has displayed exceptional skill in cinematography and editing, significantly contributing to the film’s watchability. Consequently, the film transcends the boundaries of its narrative alone. The director’s cinematographic technique and editing style add depth to the film, elevating it to the genre’s pinnacle. Unfortunately, many horror directors have yet to grasp the significance of editing in horror cinema. In this film, time shifts, flashbacks, abrupt transitions, and slow-motion sequences are employed masterfully.
In thriller films, especially those laden with action and bloodshed, acting plays a pivotal role. Tina Ivlev, in tandem with the director, is the sole reason why this film stands out. At least for me, she delivers a performance that will not easily fade from memory.
When one hears the word “vengeance,” it often conjures thoughts of Liam Neeson once again, but this film does not adhere to those clichéd narratives. Unlike many films, Eve chooses to confront the darkness rather than flee towards the light. Admittedly, in real life, this decision may not seem very realistic, but considering this is a movie, it gives rise to a delightful narrative. As Eve traverses through the various houses, she confronts the pinnacle of depravity and encounters sets designed in a perverse fashion. The deranged captor did not love everyone as he loved Eve; he devised different systems and inflicted varying treatments upon each of them. Unfortunately, the women Eve attempts to rescue are not as resourceful as she is.
In essence, “Bound to Vengeance” is not a conventional tale of escaping imprisonment; rather, it is a rebellion against captivity. As the story unfolds, which is of paramount importance, you will find yourself repeatedly asking, “What more can possibly happen?” and each time, you will be met with something even more sinister. If you relish productions that plunge you into the depths of depravity, complete with blood, bullets, and death, then this film is tailor-made for you. The scarcity of stagnant scenes and the understated action sequences also work in its favor. It is a gripping concoction of horror, suspense, and action that will keep you thoroughly engaged without a moment of dullness.
Cast & Crew
director: J.M Cravioto
writers: Rock Shaink Jr., Keith Kjornes
starring: Tina Ivlev
USA | 2016 | 93 MINUTES |