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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fantasia 2012: ‘Chained’ (Review) SPOILER ALERT

Dream Movie Cast
Chuck Bronson



“Terror starts at home” or so what Jennifer Lynch makes of it. Filled with despair, fear and the traumatic events of growing up, Chained is an absolutely mesmerizing and enveloping story about a serial killer taking in a child and raising him to be his family. Starring Vincent D’Onofrio as the terrifying and physically intimidating warped sociopath, Jennifer Lynch truly makes great use of the barren “middle of anywhere U.S.A.” and gnaws at the core humanity in all of us. The film had its World Premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival.


Starring Vincent D’Onofrio as the terrifying and physically intimidating warped sociopath, Jennifer Lynch truly makes great use of the barren “middle of anywhere U.S.A.” and gnaws at the core humanity in all of us [bringing] about the atmospherics of “daily life” and the horror that begins at home.
It’s difficult to talk about the film without ever constantly coming back to D’Onofrio, an actor who’s always gone all-in when it comes to these sorts of roles. Who could ever forget Full Metal Jacket? No one. D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Bob is enthralling; his body hunched over almost childlike himself with a slight lisp. He’s not stupid, but is slightly naïve about the relationship he tries to cultivate with Rabbit, the boy he kidnapped and brought up under his control. Rabbit’s story begins when he and his mother Sarah Fittler (Julia Ormond) were leaving from a movie theater and got into the wrong cab, driven by Bob. Portrayed at two distinct “growing” stages, Evan Bird provides deep emotional terror as a young boy and the film quickly skips ahead several years to show a victimized and “chained” up late-teen Rabbit (Eamon Farren). We see the routine he’s had to live with for years, forcing him to clean after Bob’s kill, eat only what’s left for him after Bob’s eaten and finally realizing that the wanting to escape is much harder than expected.


Growing up from a truly warped childhood, Bob kills women because they’re born “sluts” and “whores”; traits attributed to women from all walks of life. When Bob was much younger, [SPOILERS] he was taking the brunt of his father’s abuse in order to protect his brother and was forced to have sex with his mother, which was his father’s twisted sense of becoming a “man” (in clear contrast to what his father truly wasn’t). [END SPOILERS] Thinking that Rabbit needed a woman to clear his mind, Bob forces him to choose a woman for his first kill. Strangely enough throughout all these years of abuse, Rabbit demonstrates that no matter how corrupted or how long we’ve become accustomed to violence and abuse, there’s always core humanity in all of us; one that we should and can strive to be better and change our destructive ways.

Needing to escape and in trying to save Annie (his chosen “first kill”), Rabbit gives away his plan to escape and save Annie to Bob and the ensuing sequence is heart-pounding and nerve-racking, you almost wish none of it was actually happening. D’Onofrio constructs a physical stature and presence, a calculated and precise mannerism that all leads Bob to an expulsion of rage, anger, bewilderment and betrayal. Wishing that you could save the little boy in him, but not before one more reveal that (in retrospect) you may have seen coming. The build-up has been so incredibly tense and immersive; you wonder why you didn’t ask yourself that question before.

In fact, it’s a testament to the filmmakers where the editing let’s performances breathe from the entire cast (noting that to edit Vincent D’Onofrio is the hardest task at hand) and the story being so tightly written by Damian O’Donnell (polished by Jennifer Lynch herself), the film is propelled by characters that the progression of the narrative and everyone’s motivation is sound and purposeful. We often don’t get a film like this and beautifully photographed by Cinematography Shane Daly; we need to relish them, to uphold is thematic relevancies and to better our society at large. Jennifer Lynch brings about the atmospherics of “daily life” and the horror that begins at home.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this, I love spoilers. I am such a control freak, I like to know as much as possible about what will happen in a movie or TV show, so there are no surprises. I love reading the positive reviews about the movie, which I can't wait to see, and also about Vincent's performance.

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  2. Yeah, no three more weeks. I can't wait to watch Chained.

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  3. Yes, thanks so much for posting this. I admit that after being disappointed in Don't Go In the Woods I was quite troubled at first by the trailers for this movie.

    Yes, I became a fan of Vincent during his LOCI days where he was almost TOO morally perfect. Bobby Goren was afraid of being crazy, but his only actual failings were caring too much about justice and protecting people from criminals. Now there's Bob, who seems to be the opposite: no redeeming qualities at all.

    Shock! From almost unbelievable goody two-shoes hero to the depths of evil.

    I'm so delighted to know now that this appears to be an excellent movie, with a sense of purpose significantly beyond terrifying the viewer.

    Like Jennifer Lynch, I can never take my eyes off of Vincent; I, too would pay to watch him read a phone book. I watch LOCI re-runs over and over and I've rented or purchased the majority of his movies. I don't care; I just love to watch.

    He is truly mesmerizing. If Vincent can be mesmerizing as a severely disturbed sociopath, that just confirms that he is actually one of the very best film performers to ever walk this planet! I hope this movie "goes viral".

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  4. I too am looking forward to seeing this movie more than ever know. So happy it's getting the great reviews.
    You're right Mary, it's so much more than just another Thriller. That's the real trick isn't it.

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  5. Just watched it and don't understand "Rabbit's fate". That was a serious letdown

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  6. can somebody tell me how does it ends?

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  7. am shocked, this a very phsycological movie and I cannt discribe how good is the story, but the end freaks me out:):) what happenes to the girl "Ange"? or is he following the steps of the Bob?

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  8. I watched it with closed captioning and if you listen through all the credits (to the end) there is much give-away. It sounds like he is going through the "routine" that Bob trained in him (cutting a story out of the newspaper), opening something, closing it - perhaps the box with the drivers licenses in it. Whether or not he killed the girl is questionable, but he does seem to be killing. Perhaps men now - who knows. I would say its rather unrealistic for the girl to live as she at least knows that Bob has murdered before - so the police would eventually show up at the house. So, I think the implication is that he is repeating the cycle of killing at the end of the movie.

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  9. I watched it with closed captioning and if you listen through all the credits (to the end) there is much give-away. It sounds like he is going through the "routine" that Bob trained in him (cutting a story out of the newspaper), opening something, closing it - perhaps the box with the drivers licenses in it. Whether or not he killed the girl is questionable, but he does seem to be killing. Perhaps men now - who knows. I would say its rather unrealistic for the girl to live as she at least knows that Bob has murdered before - so the police would eventually show up at the house. So, I think the implication is that he is repeating the cycle of killing at the end of the movie.

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  10. Ending sucked, I'm so pissed when movies do that. Wtf

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