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I Review: Bound to Vengeance

Bound to Vengeance has a 20% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is bizarre. I’m not saying it’s the greatest movie ever made, but in a long line of shitty slasher/exploitation flicks, this was mostly a pleasant surprise.

The review over at The Dissolve is particularly scathing, as it seems to be more interested in figuring out if the director ”sided” with the protagonist or not, which is an…interesting way to review a movie, I guess.

Anyway. This movie is about a kidnapped woman who manages to break free and capture the man that held her in his basement. She makes him lead him to all the other girls his ring of degenerates is holding captive.

This type of movie isn’t really my kind of thing. Victimized women, whether they’re getting revenge or not is something I’m not really interested in. I did stick around however, mostly because it seemed competently shot and acted.

The movie is overall a bit hit and miss. The violence (almost exclusively dealt by the heroine) is brutal and satisfying (What, they’re horrible people, they deserve what they get), the dead women less so. I’m not sure why the screenwriter went with that.

The minor plot twist near the end isn’t really that good. I’d call it pedestrian.

All in all, this is only a recommend for people who like shit like I Spit On Your Grave.

2 out of 5 creep vans

Review: Starry Eyes

Sarah (Alex Essoe) is a beautiful actress that wants to make it in the acting world. She’s willing to do whatever it takes, even at the detriment of her own personal being. When she’s scouted for the film The Silver Scream, Sarah has to decide exactly how much she’s willing to go through for fame.

Oh, aren’t you just trembling from excitement after reading that very original and not at all cliched synopsis? I know I was. Or rather, I decided to watch it because it was getting some good press and seriously, there had to be some kind of interesting twist to the plot, right? No way it would just be about a woman who desperately wants to be an actress that falls prey to some weird producers and ends up dead/monstrous/captive.

I got bad news.

Leaving the plot aside for a moment, I have to say that this is a competently made movie. The acting is mostly solid but not exceptional and it has some great photography, especially towards the end. The soundtrack didn’t really stick with me. The last five minutes of the film were pretty great and it kinda makes me wish that was the beginning of the movie. It largely felt like we got to watch the introduction to a much more interesting film. The details of the protagonist’s shitty job and shittier friends were of little interest, since it was all fairly shallow. Especially most scenes at her job were head scratching and completely differed in tone to the rest of the movie.

Sarah’s arch nemesis is another woman actor who always has something shitty to say to her, yet no one ever calls her out on her plain to see hatred of our protagonist. Why this happens is a mystery, especially after the tenth time she flat out tells Sarah she’s a huge failure and an ugly loser.

Once the plot starts rolling, we’re treated to some vaguely unsettling scenes of Sarah’s auditions for The Silver Scream that instead of making her run screaming seem to only feed her need to be successful in her acting career. Again and again she goes back for more auditions, each one worse (and more humiliating) than the last.

The movie staff seem to be grooming her for some nefarious purpose.

I guess you’ll have to watch it if you want to find out. As far as I’m concerned, the ending was very obvious. Part of that is because of the marketing material, but the plot is so completely by the numbers that you’re lulled into a false sense of security (”I bet there’s a twist! I bet the plot will lead somewhere else other than the inevitable conclusion!”) but alas, it is not to be.

2 out of 5 Starlets.