“Bound to Vengeance” is the definition of an indie thriller. In all honesty the movie asks for you to suspend your disbelief from the beginning to the end and there are a few predictable plot points. However, the style, minor twists, and willingness to play with the medium makes it bearable to watch as an average viewer and inspiring for any up and coming indie filmmaker.
Eve (Tina Ivlev) has been held captive in the highly secured basement of a sexual predator named Phil (Richard Tyson). We don’t know how long she’s been there, but the film picks up moments before her escape. Eve is smart, and it seems she’s thought through how to subdue her captor but it’s apparent that she doesn’t know where she is as she exits the house at dusk. With the keys to the only vehicle outside missing, she reenters the place that she knows.
As she rummages through the house, she comes across polaroids of other young girls with numbers by them- including her own. Eve creates a makeshift dog pole catcher with a shower rod and telephone line and uses it to keep Phil at bay as they begin an overnight journey to free the rest of the girls from the polaroids. Of course, this is where the movie derails logically. Why doesn’t she just drive off and call the police? What if Phil has a trap ready for her at another house? If you can swerve around those major plot holes, and accept the movie for what it is, you will be drawn in to Eve’s journey.
With each house she visits and girl she interacts with, Eve learns something different. There’s no doubt that there’s something about Eve that makes her an awesome heroine. With each stop she puts together the pieces of the puzzle of her kidnapping and so many other girls, while getting some revenge along the way.
Ivlev takes the weight of the movie and carries it in a worthy manner as the lead. She plays Eve with enough gravity to be feared and nuance to be believable. Based on his work in this film, I’m curious to see director Jose Manuel Craviato’s native language films. Craviato plays with the medium in a way that big budget movies rarely do. In one scene, Eve searches for the end of a land line phone, tugging on the chord. With each tug, the camera moves, until it falls to the floor as Eve rushes over to it. This small moment in the film is one of many that shows Craviato’s skill regardless of the script. The cinematography by Byron Werner is also worth a mention as he paints with reds and greens throughout the film, helping to support the repulsive nature of sex trafficking.
While it showed potential for being a revenge thriller with a great female lead, it falls short of the mark. “Bound to Vengeance” is a good choice for Netflix or Redbox.