Having been imprisoned in a cellar and sexually abused, Eve finally manages to escape her vicious captor only to discover her troubles are just beginning. Finding herself trapped in the middle of nowhere, Tina Ivlev’s unfortunate heroine searches her sicko tormentor’s (Richard Tyson) dilapidated shack for help but instead finds proof he’s keeping several more women locked up in different locations. Rather than running to the hills – as any sane person would – Eve snags Tyson’s self-styled “zookeeper” on a dogcatcher-style leash and sets out on a joyride across town to liberate her fellow victims.
It’s a neat idea from screenwriters Rock Shaink and Keith Kjornes, offering a feminist twist on the usual indie shocker fodder as the victim turns the tables on her abuser; unfortunately, what promised to be a pulpy revenge flick in the style of Old Boy meets Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt becomes a plodding bore, let down by a creaking script that’s heavy with idle coincidences and a pursuit of a not-so-shocking twist that adds nothing to the story.
Ivev is an imposing screen presence worthy of better material and her put-upon heroine strikes an intriguing dynamic with Tyson’s remorseless attacker, playing on a victim’s tendency to blame herself for the abuse she suffers by having Phil manipulate Eve’s guilt. Frustratingly, this engaging psychological game is increasingly marginalised as the story becomes more about inflicting gory horrors on scores of scantily clad women.
Bound to Vengeance also achieves the strange feat of feeling an hour too long despite clocking in under 80 minutes, the story padded out with coy flashbacks to Eve’s happier memories, which instantly evaporate what little agency this flimsy thriller manages to muster.
Click here to watch a trailer for Bound to Vengeance