Chained

"Good"

Chained Review


Filmmaker Lynch (daughter of David) knows how to push our buttons, using misogynist violence to keep us uncomfortable right through this contained, stylish thriller. But she also cops out on taking a more challenging approach to such contentious material, never properly exploring the bond between a kidnapper and hostage. So even though the film is involving and harrowing, it lets us down by falling back on movie cliches.

Shot in rural Saskatchewan, the film opens as Sarah (Ormond) takes her young son (Bird) to the movies. But on their way home, the taxi driver Bob (D'Onofrio) instead drives them to an isolated house, where he murders Sarah and turns the boy into a chained-up slave he calls Rabbit. Years pass and Rabbit (now Farren) reaches his late-teens, so Bob lets him study physiology to pass on his "trade" of kidnapping, torturing and killing young women. He also gives Rabbit a bit of freedom, brings a girl (Leslie) home for him to practice on, and takes him out to hunt. But has Rabbit really adopted Bob's murderous ways, or is he plotting something of his own?

The best thing about this film is the taut psychological tension between Bob and Rabbit, which is sharply portrayed by D'Onofrio and Farren. D'Onofrio underplays Bob as a quietly precise man who lives in squalor but keeps every variable under control. He's a killer, but D'Onofrio never turns him into a psychopath, even when we see somewhat hazy flashbacks of his own brutal past. So we can sympathise with Rabbit's feeling that Bob is the only family he has, and Farren's clever performance is an intriguing bundle of cowering fear,  malnourished physicality and sharply intelligent glances.

With its limited setting in Bob's house, the film often feels like a stage play, which makes it even more perplexing that it never really grapples with the Stockholm Syndrome theme. Instead, Lynch focusses on the horror, most of which takes place in our mind as we hear but rarely see the ugly violence Bob inflicts. All of the women in this film are hapless victims, and the police in this town are clearly useless at protecting them. In other words, the only point of this film is to freak us out. And Lynch definitely knows how to do that.

Rich Cline



Chained

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 18th July 2013

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jennifer Lynch

Starring: as Bob, Eamon Farren as Older Rabbit, as Sarah Fittler, as Marie Fittler

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.