Sundance 2015: Director J.M. Cravioto Previews Reversal



“Reversal is just a really fucking cool movie,” Sundance programmer Charlie Reff says at first mention of the Park City at Midnight title. Its director, the Mexican-born José Manuel Cravioto, is decidedly more modest however. “With every film I make, I just want to entertain people,” says the filmmaker in anticipation of Reversal’s Sundance World Premiere. It sounds and, with a brick-slamming first clip, looks as if it will. 

Reversal, perhaps as evidenced by the title, boasts a refreshing synopsis. Though the genre’s fascination with keeping a woman tied up has thankfully died down, it’s nice to see a movie so forcefully reject the scenario. Here, lead Eve (Tina Ivlev) unleashes a comeuppance typically reserved for a genre film’s finale in its opening minutes and proceeds to take her captor hostage in hopes to save the others he’s got hidden.

“Funny thing, I didn’t love the title,” Cravioto laughs. “But that’s another story. The original screenplay had a completely different ending. Daniel Posada, the producer, and I changed the end. We kept these things where she turns everything and goes to his house, and that’s why we kept the title; the concept is mostly the same.”

In realizing the script by Rock Shaink and Keith Kjornes, Cravioto, the director—who Sundance’s Reff seems to think is primed for big, stylish things—turned to blending his filmic influences into a violent, colorful ride. “I feel very inspired by 70s films, B-horror films,” he explains. “That was the original idea, to have this texture and this atmosphere crossed by another texture inspired by French horror films from the 90s. I worked with Byron Werner, the cinematographer and we designed the film to move through these spaces.”

While Eve embarks on her brutal journey, Reversal itself will be occupying an important space. The film unspools on one of Park City’s mainstay screens, The Egyptian, as one of the first two midnights of the fest, screening opposite Eli Roth’s anticipated Knock Knock. Again, Cravioto seems fairly chill.  “I want to entertain the audience with an hour and a half of pure fun. The most important thing is that people enjoy our work, our film. The most important thing for me to fill the eyes of the audience.”

Reversal world premieres Friday, January 23 as part of the Park City at Midnight Section of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. For full screening info, visit the film’s Sundance site here. For everything Sundance-related on Shock, bookmark this page.

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