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What passes for the film's plot is simple on the page but convoluted and messy on screen where it makes no real sense at all. For the most part the film concentrates on one poor young woman's horrific plight as she is caged in a serial killer's gloomy abode. There are flashbacks and supernatural elements none of which seem to make much sense and just add to confusing what should have been a straight forward exercise in exploitation. Rather than make a pig's ear of trying to explain things I'll hand over to the film's writer and director Dean C Jones who details the plot as below.
Hollywood, California is turned upside down by a series of strange and horrific murders creating chaos and turmoil in tinsel town. One particular victim, Samantha Forester (Chauntal Lewis), is kidnapped, held captive and subjected to witness the torture and murder of numerous other victims. It is by her will, strength, and faith that she must survive the ordeal. Her escape seems hopeless and only worsens when outside supernatural forces become more difficult to contend with than her captor.
When it comes to reviewing a series that has already ran for a previous four seasons it seems rather pointless reviewing and awarding a rating to something that already has a built-in fan-base. They will need no convincing to buy this set, nor will they necessarily want to read my critique. For those having a nosey on the off chance that they may have missed some TV gem you're too late to join the party. It stops here. After Series Five of Haven there will be no more. It's been terminated by the Syfy Channel as of August 2015.
For those unfamiliar with the fast-paced dumb thrills that Haven offers the series was loosely born out of horror maestro Stephen King's story The Colorado Kid and like most of King's work it's set in Maine. FBI Agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), originally came to the small town to solve the mysterious murder of an ex-con, but soon discovered strange happenings were afoot. The residents of Haven are cursed with superhuman afflictions referred to as 'The Troubles' (you'll hear this term A LOT).
Series Five Volume One picks up with the aftermath of our heroes' victory over the villainous William by banishing him to the Void. But what's this? It appears that our spunky FBI Agent Parker has disappeared and been replaced by someone who looks like her but does a mean scowl rather than flick her long hair around. Parker is now Mara and just happens to be the 'original' person responsible for creating the troubles centuries ago. Chaos ensues and all-sorted weirdness takes place in Haven, from folks having their eyes and mouth stitched up, body swapping and dancing bears popping up everywhere. Can our heroes rescue the Audrey they love and know from the body of meanie Mara and put a stop her evil deeds? What do you think?
In the very same week that saw director Michael Dougherty's trailer for the Adam Scott/Toni Collette starrer Krampus (2015) take off on the internet I suddenly received this screener evidently being rush-released on retail in the UK to cash-in by the title character association. For those of you that didn't know Krampus is Santa Claus' evil brother according to ancient mythology. Whereas his chubby sibling takes to dishing out presents to the good boys and girls of the world, Krampus is about dishing out punishment to those children that have been naughty. In this, director Jason Hull's third film, Krampus takes the form of punishment to the more extreme, he doesn't just punish them he kills them too.
Back in 1983 one such child, Jeremy (Jared Sidun), manages to escape Krampus. Years later Jeremy is a police officer (now played by A.J. Leslie). Jeremy is tormented and hell-bent on killing the monster who fortunately happens to have concentrated his efforts in Jeremy's neck-of-the-woods again. If that wasn't enough to trouble for our hero, he soon learns that the beast has his eyes on Jeremy's daughter. There's also the niggling matter of a recently released felon Brian Hatt (Bill Oberst) that seeks vengeance for Jeremy having incarcerating him.
Director José Manuel Cravioto's feature début is a grubby affair, the sort of film that you feel like needing a good scrub after. It delves into the all too prevalent and real horrors that are sexual abuse and human trafficking. Eve (Tina Ivlev), one such victim, turns on her keeper Phil (Richard Tyson) when he brings food to her. Displaying terrific survival instincts, and some savvy when it comes to turning the tables on Phil, she hoists the battered Phil out of the cellar she has kept her prisoner in for six months. Finding Polaroid photos of other girls, being stashed away for the same purpose, Eve demands that Phil tell her where each is being held. So begins a night of twists and turns for our spunky lead.
Bound to Vengeance, originally entitled Reversal, is one short film, weighing in at seventy-five minutes of screen-time, excluding the end credits however you will not feel short changed. That lean running time is all that is needed to deliver a fast paced, edge-of-the-seat premise that would otherwise feel stretched. Every event that unfolds on-screen leads somewhere. There's no needless padding. If there is a grumble with the plotting it's that there's a couple of 'surprises' that aren't surprises really. You can see them coming a mile off but otherwise it's still an involving watch.
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