Gritty and bloody revenge thriller movies have always had a special place in cinema history. It’s hard to explain a viewer’s primal need to see a wronged individual exact vengeance upon those that have done them wrong, perhaps because it’s what we wished we could do ourselves when faced with the situation. While there are plenty of testosterone-fueled examples, ones with a female protagonist are not as easy to come by. Which brings us to Avenged, a revenge thriller released by Anchor Bay Canada and Raven Banner Entertainment on April 21, 2015 in a standard DVD edition.
Avenged is the story of Zoe (Amanda Adrienne); a deaf mute woman travelling cross country to reunite with her boyfriend. On the road she witnesses a brutal attack and is subsequently savaged and left for dead by the same group of rednecks once they catch her. A Native shaman finds her clinging to life and attempts to save her through a ritual, only it backfires; infusing Zoe’s body with a bloodthirsty Apache warrior that steers her into exacting visceral revenge on the men who ultimately murdered her (while her body continues to decompose).
Directed by Michael S. Ojeda in his feature film debut, Avenged is a cross between classic revenge films I Spit On Your Grave, The Last House On The Left and The Crow, utilizing a lot of supernatural horror elements into its female main character to take her revenge with. Is it a good movie? Not really no, but what it does manage to do right is present the film with some gritty, violent visual flare to keep things interesting enough. The acting is also not too shabby, but the biggest issue with Avenged is that it’s very over the top and it combines so many story points that it almost has too much going on instead of being a focused piece.
On standard definition, the film is dark and grainy but it’s an acceptable look for this kind of grinding material. Colors are pretty solid and kudos to Ojeda for visually giving Avenged the right tone for the genre. The DVD comes with a fairly effective Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track and two bonus features; a decent behind-the-scenes video and an alternate opening to the film.
Avenged is a wild revenge ride, no question, but it’s so jam-packed with plot points and over the top that it’s a very difficult revenge thriller to take seriously. From a visual standpoint its got some guts and the DVD edition would be a fair acquisition, giving you the most it can from a technical level and a couple of bonus features to boot.