Bound to Vengeance is a dark and eerie revenge movie reminiscent of the the 1970’s revenge stories that define the genre. I Spit on Your Grave, Death Wish, Carrie, and even Lady Snowblood (inspiration and template for Tarantino’s revenge masterpiece Kill Bill), are all dark and disturbing with one thing in common. Someone who is wronged loses it and sets things right, in their own way.
Tired of hearing your friends say they’ve watched everything on Netflix? Are you finding yourself saying that as well? Maybe the argument of people too cheap to shell out the 8 dollars are saying ‘there used to be good stuff, but it’s all crap now.’ Maybe you find yourself spending more time scrolling than watching. Well I plan to put those idiotic statements and bad behavior to rest. On a week to week basis I will give a solid recommendation or two on what you can sign on, turn on, and enjoy. I’ll try to stay away from the massive titles that everyone knows since those have been covered to exhaustion everywhere else. I’m looking for the hidden gems. The indies, the big name stars in direct to streaming endeavors that are well crafted and creative but wouldn’t gross the 300 million needed to justify a theatrical wide release.
Eve (Tina Ivlev) is a young girl captured by a rapist and chained up in a basement dungeon. The story opens on her taking a brick to her captor, Phil (Richard Tyson), and breaks free of her chains. Instead of calling the police, she makes it her mission to find the other girls Phil and his cohorts have captured. She attempts to free them from the same brutality she has endured. Eve’s past is released in a found footage style of her and her boyfriend Ronnie (Kristoffer Kjornes). Why Eve decides to settle this herself and the disturbing truth to her capture is slowly revealed as the revenge filled night progresses.
Another Netflix Pick with solid performances from lesser known actors. Tina Ivlev is in virtually every shot of the film and never wavers in her performance. She is a tortured soul who is bearing an even larger burden than that of victim. She is determined to get revenge but wielding a gun and dragging a grown man around down by a collar isn’t exactly in her character’s wheel house. The raw nature of the performance and the fact that Eve is so out of her element the entire film speaks volumes to Ivlev’s performance.
The co-lead to the movie, and the main antagonist is equally powerful but in the total opposite direction. Eve is a character to root for, no one can watch Bound to Vengeance and not want her to succeed. Phil is the opposite. You can’t help but despise this man, no matter how brutally he is treated and how bad off it gets his sniveling and lying ways make him so reprehensible every minute his pain is fantastic.
Bound to Vengeance isn’t just a great watch because of the throwback subject matter and solid acting. The camera work is something pretty spectacular. The found footage aspect had me worried when the film started. The wind noise in the mic and the shakiness of the cam had me thinking it would be a long 90 minutes. Luckily that was handled perfectly and there was an actual reasoning to the way the past unfolded. It was also a good way to show flashbacks without flashbacks. The camera work for the core story is tight and clean. The movie is professionally shot and the quality for a low budget revenge story is excellent. Creative shots put focus where it needs to be and heighten the tension of Eve’s terrible situation. To say these aspects of the film are noticeable because of the small scale and budget of the movie isn’t fair, in any blockbuster camera work this clean and the artistic shots should always be appreciated.
The script is equally as strong as the acting and shooting. The writer’s, Rock Shaink Jr and Keith Kjornes, don’t have many features on their combined resume. In fact this is Shaink’s first feature length picture. Bound to Vengeance shows some great promise for Shaink’s career. Sadly Kjornes passed away in 2013. There is not a single moment in the film where the audience has to question why a character would act a certain way and the character’s never act out of their established personalities. Something that sounds so small in writing but can ruin even the most ambitious film if handled poorly.
Bound to Vengeance is definitely a hidden gem, that is why it’s worth your time, and earned the title of So Wizard’s Netflix Pick of the week. Great acting, a tight script, and flawless direction; what else do you need to know? Get streaming immediately.