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Haunted Sideshow

Dustin Putman

Bound to Vengeance  (2015)

Reviewed for by Dustin Putman

The Film
2 Stars
(Release Date: November 10, 2015) – Retitled since its premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival (where it went by the superior, but still forgettable, name "Reversal"), "Bound to Vengeance" aptly twists expectations with its setup before stretching the boundaries of plausibility and sense far past their breaking points. One minute, 21-year-old Eve (Tina Ivlev) is enjoying a day out with her boyfriend, Ronnie (Kris Kjornes), and the next she is chained up in the underground lair of her sick abductor, Phil (Richard Tyson). When she gets the chance to finally escape, she chooses instead to take Phil hostage, embarking on a one-woman crusade to rescue his other captive victims hidden throughout the city. It is a valiant, if nonsensical, prospect easier said than done.

A case where a performance is better than the film it is in, "Bound the Vengeance" has one thing going for it, and that is Tina Ivlev, giving her riveting all as the defiant, understandably pissed-off Eve. Ivlev (who bears a passing resemblance to Britt Robertson) does not play the part as a superhero, but with an emotional, forlorn strength that rings true. What doesn't ring true is the ridiculous premise. Director José Manuel Cravioto keeps the narrative humming along, but he and screenwriter Rock Shaink Jr. play viewers for fools. Eve could very easily go to the authorities and, based on what she already knows, instigate the rescue of all the other endangered women Phil has locked away. As she takes matters into her own hands, the grave series of events which follow play like a comedy of gruesome errors—only everything is treated seriously. "Bound to Vengeance" holds one's attention, but not one's faith, telling a story that simply has too many holes to buy into it.

Read Dustin's Theatrical Review

Blu-ray Picture/Sound

"Bound to Vengeance" sports an excellent 1080p transfer befitting the high-def format. Image detail contributes to the picture's overall sense of dimensionality, while colors are bold and accurate. Shadow detail is also quite pleasing. The grizzled, grimy, heightened stakes emanate from the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, every scream, punch and gunshot coming alive within the mix. The score and soundtrack add useful layers to the presentation. A 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is also included.

Blu-ray Features
  • Theatrical Trailer (1:37, HD)
Bottom Line
I personally love that Scream Factory is currently in partnership with IFC Midnight to release their titles on the Blu-ray format, even when certain ones, like "Bound to Vengeance," are hit-and-miss as far as the films themselves go. Still, in spite of plentiful leaps in logic, the filmmakers do at least attempt to put a spin on a familiar torture-revenge plot. For this reason, genre fans should consider giving it a shot.

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© 2015 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman

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