Review: Inexplicable behavior somehow never trips up ‘Bound to Vengeance’


Much like the protagonist in “Oldboy,” twentysomething Eve (Tina Ivlev) escapes an abductor, Phil (Richard Tyson), at the beginning of “Bound to Vengeance.” But immediately upon realizing she’s stranded in the middle of nowhere, she returns to the dilapidated shack where he held her captive.

While rummaging for the keys to Phil’s van, she happens upon Polaroids of other victims. So instead of stepping on the gas pedal and never looking back — and calling 911 on the way — like anyone in her right mind would, the Jennifer Lawrence-like tough gal turns the tables on Phil and takes him for a ride at gunpoint to free hostages locked inside dungeons scattered all over town. Who knows why Phil has gone to the trouble of procuring all the properties to hold his various prey instead of just housing them in one convenient central location.

Unbelievable indeed, the film, directed by José Manuel Cravioto, nevertheless manages to captivate throughout. Even jaded viewers who have gathered vague ideas from clues planted by screenwriters Rock Shaink and Keith Kjornes about how things will ultimately play out might find a genuine surprise or two in store. Interspersed throughout are snippets from Eve’s home movies flashing back to a happier time in her life unexpectedly hold keys to unlock some of the mysteries.



“Bound to Vengeance”

MPAA rating: None

Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood. Also on VOD.