IFC Midnight has given us a slew of great genre features in the past such as ATM, Exam, Dead Snow, and The Snowtown Murders (all available to stream on Netflix). Their newest release, Bound To Vengeance challenges the female protagonist role that we’re used to seeing in horror: Girl equals helpless victim, let’s leave the policing to the manly cops. No cops in sight, our lead takes action into her own hands.The film’s opening credit sequence is immediately reminiscent of Texas Chainsaw with a lone beat up van swiftly cruising down a deserted highway, though in this story the inhabitant of the car is our villain. Bound To Vengeance pulls no punches as the mental ride follows directly after those very opening credits. Our mystery man carries a tray with homemade soup down an eerie hall and into a locked basement room. There we find Eve, a young, slender woman chained to the floor. She manages to escape and in her attempt to get away, she realizes that she is not the only girl being held captive. She needs her captor. Fashioning a noose out of items inside the rundown house, Eve strikes a deal. He tells her where the others are and she drops him off at a hospital… But, even the best laid plans easily go awry.The script is truly unexpected. Just when you think you’ve figured out what is going on, plot twist. You have to respect the ever changing scenery and manipulation. While it may not be a 5 star film, I will say, I had to know what the truth was and wanted to see Eve kick some major ass. Speaking of which, Tina Ivlev plays our heroine with an honest determination. She’s not a super ninja or hyper intelligent prodigy, she is a normal, albeit, incredibly resourceful and strong woman. That is what I appreciated most about the script. She was a girl who just wanted to save the others and in turn come to terms with her own captivity. Richard Tyson gives us our villain, Phil. It’s a complex performance filled with masterfully sick, power-struggle laden dialogue. How much do we trust Phil? Should we trust Phil at all? Once you get to the end of the movie, you realize that all the clues were there to begin with. Bound to Vengeance could have easily been a mini series. There is much more to this story and I for one would look forward to a sequel.
In Theaters and on VOD Friday, June 26th.