Chained (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

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Beautifully Brutal, Unrelenting.
RobertLThorpe5 February 2013
Jennifer Lynch has created something here that is nothing short of breath taking. From the tone and mood to the color and performances, this film is a must for any fan of dark reality. This film could happen.

Vincent D'Onfrio gives a brilliant performance as a serial killer with a chance to be a mentor to his captive. I loved this film, it is just so sad that Hollywood does not recognize films like this when awards come around. This film is honest, unrelenting and touching. This is how horror films should be made. Horror, not gore, not slasher. This film kept me glued to my seat on pins and needles wondering how everything was gonna play out. I was not let down. Jennifer, thank you so much.
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A great movie with a huge twist.
Michael-Hallows-Eve26 September 2012
This film is well done. The parts are played well, and the movie is intriguing from start to finish. D'Onofrio is great as the serial killing cab driver. I think Jennifer Lynch has done a great job with the script and the actors. But after seeing 'HISSS', you hoped that she had improved, and in my mind she has done so easily. The story is very good too, I was watching wanting to know what happens with Tim. And then there's the huge plot twist at the end, you do not see it coming! It was what made the film worth seeing through to the end. If you're like me and love a good twist, then this movie is well worth seeing. So I give it a solid 8 out of 10.
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A difficult watch, but worth it.
mdnobles199 January 2013
Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.

Be prepared, this film is not for the faint of heart or the more sensitive viewers. Chained is the most unsettling film of 2012 that grips you by the throat and doesn't let go, as well as a kick in the stomach. Dread consumes this twisted, dark and provocative crime/thriller. In the vein of Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, this film takes you inside the mind of a ruthless killer, the character study is a very disturbing, heart shattering and shocking. Filled with depravity! The performances were powerfully tense and keeps you glued to the screen and on the edge of you seat. Vincent D'Onofrio, who you may know from Law & Order, plays Bob, a serial killer cab driver and gives one hell of a chilling performance. You feel horrible for but hate him at the same time, a killer that's a product of his environment. Eamon Farren plays older Rabbit, which is the name Bob gives to him after he abducts him and his mom when he was a young child. Now he is chained to a wall with no way out, but to only buddy up with his captor enough to be freed from the chains. Eamon gives a captivating performance and you root for him to escape the horrors and at one point having you shout at the screen to fight back and get revenge. Harrowing film! Director, Jennifer Chambers Lynch who directed the equally startling film Surveillance, has crafted yet another distressing, graphic and wicked film. The rawness of her films is now very much signature to me, she always has a way of getting under your skin, keeps you in suspense and hits you hard with a shocking conclusion. Her film will make you think twice about calling for a cab! Very much interested to see what she throws at us next, I won't be surprised if it leaves me in the fetal position, shaken out of my mind. She is that good! Overall, this film is definitely not for everyone as it's blood curdling, but the performances are some of the best of 2012 from this twisted genre. The story will keep you in cold sweat, wondering and guessing if poor Rabbit will make it out OK and has one hell of a shocking ending that will leave you breathless. A tough watch, but worth it! 7 out of 10.
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njames99625 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
With its sunny daylight ranch exteriors and sparse, sickly yellow interiors, Jennifer Lynch's Chained is not playing subtle at being a domestic dysfunction drama. But seeing how the film is also firmly exists in the gory serial-killer box, it is one of the more subtle and affecting entries in that particular sub-genre. This dichotomy makes the film a bit of an enigma, drifting between two radically different discomfort zones, but one that lingers because of it.

Tim and his mom (Julia Ormond, doing the director a favour here after knocking things out of the park in Lynch's previous thriller, Surveillance) get dropped off at the movies by dad. Living dangerously and in the interest of bonding, mom decides to let her 9 year old (at his request) check out a horror flick instead of the CGI kiddie movie. Catching a taxi home afterwards proves the real horror as the cabbie is quite unlicensed, and uses his gleaming yellow car as a way of getting easy victims. The cabbie's name is Bob and he is a serial killer. This is perhaps a nod to Ms. Lynch's father's spiritual serial killer of the same name from the Twin Peak's TV series featuring an isolated town and dead girls, for which Jennifer wrote the Diaries of Laura Palmer when she was a teenager. Bob takes the immediately suspicious (and immediately powerless) mother and son out to his isolated (no cellular signal) bungalow where he has his way, both in a sexual and violent sense, with mom but is at a momentary loss with what to do with a nine year old. In a coarse and lispy grunt, the cabbie tells the Tim, "She's not ever coming back, get used to it." And then he keeps him around to do the cooking and the cleaning - where the first job of non-indentured servitude is disposing of mom's mutilated corpse.

Bob is played by Vincent D'Onofrio, one of those versatile character actors who has been lost on network TV for some years, but has played everything from a struggling marine trainee (Full Metal Jacket) to Thor (Adventures in Babysitting) to Orson Welles (Ed Wood) to goofy alien antagonist (Men in Black) to a noseless thug (The Salton Sea) to yes, a deranged serial killer (The Cell). Here he is heavyset and brutish, no nonsense approach to life and memorable manner of speech. His father- son relationship with captive Tim is the heart of the film, black and twisted as it is. As several years pass, the victims (exclusively women) begin to pile up to the point where the two of them can play a disturbing game of 'go fish' with the collected set of drivers licenses. The film settles into the odd rhythm of Bob trying to remake Tim, rechristened him Rabbit, in his own image, less a slave and more an heir, and the nature vs. nurture conflict of Rabbit's unusual upbringing. It is rather heady and exceptionally well-handled stuff for what on the surface is essentially a one-room genre picture. This could have been based on a play. Maybe it was. Bob is nothing if not voracious in appetite, and things eventually head into icky loss-of- virginity for Rabbit, but the friction between surrogate parent and child - what the adult thinks is best for the child's future and how the child wants to take control of their own circumstances - take that Dexter. Tim learns human anatomy from books, but psychology from dear old 'dad.' Bob intones, "Listening is good," but fails to hear anything Rabbit has to say. Probably a common parenting error. He also offers, "Following through is the key to life," which is loaded with more than a bit of ironic foreshadowing.

If the film were content to stay with this tense drama, I would be proclaiming this film a minor masterpiece of the genre. But the writers (Damien O'Donnell and Jennifer Lynch), whether intending to really drive home the theme, or merely add an extra layer of clever to what is an oddly paced and low-key affair, decide to do some 'rug-pulling' in the plotting department that struck me as rather odd. I love the final shot and subsequent continuation of audio for the entire credit crawl, but the penultimate bit of extraneous family drama takes the film out of good stretching-the-audience drama and into bad over-plotted genre bombast. Even the former title of the film, Rabbit, suggests a more subtle and less pandering piece than Chained. As it stands, the film is very much worth your time, a conversation piece that is only enhanced by its NC-17 rating (apparently for 'realism' instead of the usual movie sex and violence) and when you get to the kooky ending, you can decide for yourself. The film stays with you.

Coming home from a routine trip to the movies, eight-year-old Tim (Bird) and his mother, Sarah (Ormond) are picked up by a psychopathic cab driver named Bob (D'Onofrio). It ends up being their last ride together. Bob murders the young boy's mother and keeps Tim as his unwilling protégée, making him clean up the mess following each murder he commits. After a couple of aborted escape attempts, Bob chains Tim – now renamed Rabbit -- allowing just enough length to move freely within the house. As the years pass, Bob starts instructing Rabbit, teaching him anatomy and human behavior. Now a teenager, Rabbit (Eamon Farren, X: Night of Vengeance) is slowly being pressed by Bob to start his own homicidal spree. Slowly but surely, he must soon choose whether to follow in Bob's serial killer footsteps or make one final, desperate attempt to break free... overall 9/10 it should have been released worldwide
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Really Nice Take on the Serial Killer Subgenre
gavin694214 October 2012
Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio), a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.

In the short time that Jennifer Lynch has been making her mark on cinema, I have grown to enjoy her style of film. At least, based on this one and her last effort, "Surveillance". I confess I am not familiar with "Boxing Helena". Her latest films are odd, but not absurd -- just odd enough to be unique and really draw people in by their novelty (a great quality to have). Here we have the serial killer story, but told in a very different way: through the eyes of a captive held for nine years. (Critics have said this idea was already presented in "Bereavement", but I would argue this is the better film.)

D'Onofrio gives a solid performance, one that may be among the best of his recent career. Trying to gauge his character is tough -- smart, stupid, slow? He is clearly clever enough to do what he does and get away with it, but his way of speaking clearly implies some sort of mental issues beyond the murderous intentions.

One could psychologically analyze Rabbit all day. He is the poster child for "learned helplessness", accepting defeat after years of beatings. Yet, he does not fit with the classic idea of Stockholm Syndrome -- he accepts Bob as his master, but only grudgingly so. And there could also be talk of nature versus nurture. Certainly, Bob is "nurturing" Rabbit to become a killer -- but will he accept it?

My friend and horror adviser, Aaron Christensen, had what he calls a violent, visceral reaction to this film and even had the urge to punch director Lynch in the face (particularly after she explained that the film was intended as a message against child abuse). For him, there is too much of a need for suspension of disbelief and this story could only exist in a "fairy tale" world. We are in disagreement. I have no opinion on the child abuse claim (though it seems rather strange), but I approach all horror films from the point of view of a fairy tale, more or less. Sure, this film was presented as more real than, say, "Nightmare on Elm Street", but I saw little need to pick out the plot holes -- some being so obvious that pointing them out is hardly a mental challenge (such as why Rabbit never escapes).

You may agree or disagree on the greatness of this film, or even have no strong reaction at all. I would be curious to hear more thoughts from people... I did not realize this film would be a conversation piece, but apparently it is.
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kosmasp29 October 2012
The movie is a really difficult watch. It's not easy seeing what is happening on screen and is meant to be that way. Vincent D'Onofrio is mesmerizing (in a bad or a good way, depending on how you look at it). His character is more than despicable, but the acting is amazing. So if you know that, you know why the voting is split down the middle. The ending is not helping either with most people.

The director talked about the ending and there is a different version of it, if I got it right (extended), which I'm looking forward to see on an upcoming release. Though I do feel the ending I saw was very good too. It might take you back a little, but if you think about it, it does make a lot of sense.
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Worthy rental if you like to find the hidden gems!
nanders14317 December 2012
I rented this movie from Redbox and watched it last night with my husband. Loved it! It is one of those movies that marks you and leaves you with questions. The movie is about a boy who was with his mother when a taxicab driver abducted and murdered her. The same taxicab driver takes the boy in, renames him Rabbit. Rabbit learns that trying to outsmart the one who holds him captive does not work and he goes into survival mode, simply working to make it through day to day. The acting of both men was stellar. Even the extras in this movie were amazing actors. But this is a movie that is strong ONLY because of the acting. There aren't any million dollar special effects, amazing backdrops, no fancy CGI, and sorry guys no naked cheerleaders with breasts bared. The story line is not as straight forward as it sounds, as Rabbit and Bob become a twisted sort of family. I think that we all want to believe that such things cannot happen, but the reality is that all too often they do happen. People can be monsters. Some are born and others are made, and this movie makes you question both. Was the man who became a monster made a monster by his past? Was the man who walked away unscathed, maybe even more of a monster than the monster? This movie is still simmering in my mind, and likely will for days to come. Highly recommend this movie, and even an action junkie like me was able to sit through it, and I continued to sit after the movie ended, listening.
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"Chained" is a deeply disturbing descent into the twisted world of a serial killer
ersinkdotcom11 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Jennifer Lynch's "Chained" is one of those films I walked away from completely disturbed but also captivated by. I find it hard to even call it a horror film because it doesn't fit in to the definition of the genre. A horror film to me is one that you walk away from with a sense of fun from being scared. There's nothing fun about "Chained." All I kept thinking the entire time I watched it is, "This really could and does happen." It's a gripping psychological thriller that throws in a few twists here and there to keep the viewer on their toes. Basically, it's exactly what you would expect from the daughter of director David Lynch.

Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio) is a cab driving serial killer who picks his victims up and takes them to his rural house. One afternoon, Bob picks up a little boy named Tim (Evan Bird) and his mother (Julia Ormond) from the movies. He takes the boy and his mother to his home. After killing Tim's mother, he chains the boy up and tells him he'll be his servant for the rest of his life and his name is now Rabbit. As Rabbit (Eamon Farren) grows into a teenager, he realizes the only way Bob will allow him to survive is by following in the killer's footsteps. He must find a way to escape from the psycho before it's too late.

If you're looking for a fun horror movie for Halloween, steer clear of "Chained." There's nothing enjoyable about it. That's not to say it isn't a great piece of cinema. I've never seen Vincent D'Onofrio play someone so disturbing. I don't know whether I should applaud him for his performance or be scared he was so good at playing the part. It's a serious film you'll cringe at in several parts because of the horrific things unfolding in front of you.
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Disturbing, Twisted and Depressing Loss of Innocence with a Surprising Plot Point
claudio_carvalho3 January 2014
The nine year-old Tim (Evan Bird) goes to the movie theater with his mother Sarah (Julia Ormond) and his father Brad Fittler (Jake Weber) tells Sarah to take a cab to go home. After the session, Sarah and Tim take the cab of Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio) that abducts and bring them to his isolated house. Bob kills Sarah and shackles and gives rules to Tim, nicknaming him "Rabbit". Along the years, the psychopath serial-killer Bob keeps killing women and Tim cleans the house and the blood, buries the women and eats Bob's leftover. When Tim (Eamon Farren) grows up, Bob decides to treat him as his son and unchains him, but Tim is reluctant to accept him. One day, Bob brings the gorgeous teenager Angie (Conor Leslie) expecting that Tim has sex with her and kills her. What will Tim do with Angie?

"Chained" is a disturbing, twisted and depressing loss of innocence of a boy kidnapped by a sadistic and deranged serial-killer and with a surprising plot point in the end. Vincent D'Onofrio is a scary psychopath with a twisted mind. The fate of Angie is omitted in the movie and this is the weakest part of the cruel plot that makes an ambiguous conclusion. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Acorrentados" ("Chained")
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A disturbing thriller with a final half sure to impress anyone who sees it.
jhpstrydom22 April 2013
CHAINED starts off giving you the impression that this could be just another torture fest where a young boy and his mother get kidnapped by a taxi driver who is really a serial killer and taken to his home. There the boy's mother is murdered and he is made to live with the killer and do whatever he says.

After all that the plot actually becomes more intriguing with superb character development and it is very disturbing and comes up with some very unexpected moments and the final half is what raises this film above many others in the same genre.

The performances are excellent, Jennifer Lynch certainly found the ideal actor to play the serial killer in Vincent D'Onofrio and even the actors with the smallest roles manage to shine.

Overall, CHAINED is a very impressive film although not for everyone but the final half is sure to impress anyone who sees it.
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Original plot, very well executed. About a taxi driver collecting women to be murdered, but primarily about his involuntary young helper and their interaction
JvH4816 April 2013
I saw this film at the Imagine film festival 2013 in Amsterdam. The plot seems mildly interesting at first, about a taxi driver (Bob) who takes women to his remote house, murders them and buries them in his cellar. The screaming and blood spraying involved in such activities, have been filmed many times before. This time, however, there is an original twist when he brings home a 9 year old boy (Tim) along with his mother, kills and buries the latter (as usual), but he keeps Tim to clean his house and prepare meals. Of course, Tim tries to escape but he fails and thus gets tied to a long chain, so that he can move through the house and perform his daily chores, among others burying women after Bob slaughters them.

This involuntarily form of cohabitation goes on for some 10 years. We see the young Tim change into an adolescent version. Bob tries to educate him by giving encyclopedia and other text books to read. Tim remains devoid of any external contacts, unable to leave the house while being retrained by his chain (hence the film title).

In the meantime, the usual process of collecting and killing women goes on. By means of flashbacks we observe that Bob has a background not only of being mistreated as a child, but was also forced to have sex with his mother. We don't get all the gory details about his past, but in several dreams we get the picture what sort of things happened in his youth, and apparently deformed his character for life.

The story becomes interesting when Bob makes serious attempts to interest Tim for the female body, and to arouse his sexual desires. Bob lets Tim choose from a photo book to find out which type he finds most attractive, then collects one looking like that example, all being a setup in the hopes that Tim and the girl have sex together. But Tim fails to settle down with her and let nature take its course. He is aware that Bob is watching every move via a camera in that room. Even worse, Bob interferes some of the time when things are not progressing fast enough. When Bob insists that he should grab the chance to explore the female body, Tim rebuts that he knows that inside and outside from books, obviously missing the point Bob wants to make. Though the girl tries to make the best of the situation and wants to help him a bit, this scene ends with blood since handling a knife is what Tim knows best.

I refrain from revealing how the story continues from this point, if only to prevent spoiling some surprising turns of events. For example, there comes a time when Tim is able to set himself free, and even meets his father who (of course) did not expect to even see him again after being lost for 10 years. Unexpectedly, this encounter does not lead to a happy family re-union, and there is a reason for that (see for yourself). As a result, Tim is thrown back on his own devices. We suspect (but that end is left open) that his only choice is to continue Bob's secret operations, and to make a fresh start with "volunteering" a new helper.

All in all, the original plot is employed very well. There were absolutely no dull moments, in spite of the constrained setting where most of the action takes place (there are very few outdoor scenes). The tension was very well spread over the running time. I consider this a formidable achievement with a cast consisting mainly of Bob and Tim, where all other roles are no more than short appearances. A few scenes were even hilarious, in spite of the dark circumstances, for instance when they play quartets with the ID cards of the women they killed. I gave the maximum score for the audience award when leaving the theater. Not all my co-viewers in the festival agree, however, since this film ended on a mediocre 21st place (out of 46) on the rating list.
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Thought provoking film
sheriedh17 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I found this film darkly interesting and disturbing in equal measures. You grow bored of films that use copious amounts of blood, violence and nudity to pad out weak plot lines and characters, to satisfy a certain type of person (I note a few people have commented on the lack of these things in previous reviews). There are tons of films that show the more depraved side of human nature in great and stomach turning detail, this is a different type of film that is more for the mind than the visual stimulation. It was well acted, and convincing by the two leads. I thought it was a better than average film. I liked the twist at the end, especially I think because it shows there are different ways to be a monster/evil. I liked the interaction between the two leads, and was interested to watch what would happen to Rabbit and how he would turn out - would he be corrupted, or would he prevail... Some say it was slow but I liked the pace of the film and don't feel every film needs to be at breakneck speed to keep your attention. I also like films that leave things for you to work out or come to your own conclusion about and not have tidy endings, and this one certainly does that.

I think it is a good film for those people who aren't offended by the subject matter but don't need boobs and blood to make their horror real, and are more chilled by implied suggestion and like a more psychological based thriller.

Random Irritations:

1. The link to child abuse and bad people. Some people are just bad without abuse. Some people are abused and do not turn out bad. I think the flashbacks were unnecessary and almost a way of trying 'excuse' Bob's behaviour - he can't help it he was abused himself rationale. I just think this is a weak and lazy plot device.

2. It's quite clear that this is not going to be a heartwarming Disney film from the title and the strap lines, and yet people who are easily offended still continue to watch it and then write reviews expressing shock and horror about the subject matter. a) bad things happen in real life, mankind has a great capacity for cruelty and violence - it being portrayed in a film does not change that fact. b) DON'T WATCH THESE TYPE OF FILMS....

3. People who seem to think character's behaviours are irrational or unrealistic based on the fact that they would not behave in that way... yes I'm speaking to you people who query about Rabbit not trying to escape and the girl trying to offer herself to him. It's easy to think this is what you would do in the luxury of your armchair and not in a fearful and perilous situation, but until you've experienced abject fear and been in a life threatening situation, I think no-one can really say what they would do or not do, as we all cope in different ways to survive extreme situations, and often its' very different to the way we think we would handle things...
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intriguing and wonderfully abnormal
goodmourning13 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film was wonderful, definitely worth watching. It may not be considered a must see but I do suggest it. Great acting, plot twists, and the film knows how to keep you interested. It's about a cab driver named Bob who one day picks up a mother and her child, whose name is Tim, and Bob kills Tim's mother and keeps Tim shackled in his home. He grows up being called Rabbit only being allowed to eat Bob's left over food and in charge of cleaning every inch of the house to please Bob. Bob wants Rabbit to follow his life's path of murder. You will be on the edge of your seat anticipating the next scene the entire time. Solid 8 out of 10.

Will Rabbit do what is expected of him?
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Another Jennifer Lynch twist!
tasscat17 June 2017
This is a really excellent film, a real psychological horror, no gore but you get the idea and have to use your imagination, and the performances are superb...the twist is brilliant, totally caught me off guard, jaw to the floor! But then again, I have watched Surveillance so should have expected something...if you haven't do!
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A curiously common thread in these reviews
swimtwobirds212 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Just a brief remark - nearly half of the reviews here talk of 'when I walked away from this movie' or similar; the movie must have had quite an effect since nobody talks of taking a taxi home after the movie.

This might seem like a matter of little consequence to those who have not yet seen the movie but - spoiler coming - I promise that it does become kinda deep and meaningful. And when you are paying all those dollars for your taxi ride home, of course you don't want the bloody thing full to the brim with terminally hysterical screaming girls.

I must also remark that the condition of Mr d'O's character's cab is a credit to him - always spotless despite all that travel on unsealed bush roads, and not a dinged panel or bent fender in sight. And is it the same cab for the whole - what - eight years or so?
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Mixed feelings
hanskemperink26 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I walked away from this movie with mixed feelings.

Vincent D'Onofrio's acting is (as always) strong, newcomer Eamon Farren looks like he lost quite a few pounds for this role and the director, whom i've never hear of before, did a excellent job.

The reason why i was, in the end, disappointed is one i cannot reveal in my always spoiler free reviews.

I do however, recommend this movie. It's tense, it's dramatic and has some gore without it being too much. Watch it when you want to see a horror flick without supernatural nonsense, or just for Vincent D'Onofrio's acting. Don't have high hopes in terms of plot though.

Oh and hang tight when the credits roll.
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'Chained' is very chilling!
bryank-0484422 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Jennifer Lynch's 'Chained' is an unapologetic psychological thriller. Some have billed this as a horror film, however that's not the case. 'Chained' will take you out of your comfort zone and leave you talking about it for days. And although it will be in your 'serial killer' film collection, this particular movie has a different quality and lasting psychological effect that will haunt you the next time you decide to take a cab.

'Chained' starts off with Tim, a 9 year old boy and his mother (Julia Ormond), who are dropped off at the local cinema by dad (Jake Weber). We instantly see how cool Tim's mom is by letting him see the horror film instead of the new kids movie. Once the film is over, by the instructions of dad, they are supposed to take a cab home instead of the bus. They hail a taxi driven by Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio), who seems like your typical cab driver.

Soon after they get in the car, and a couple of missed turns, Tim and his mother realize that Bob is not really a cab driver, but a serial killer and that bad things are about to happen. Bob drives Tim and his mother to his remote house with no cellular signal. Bob takes Tim's mother into the house and leaves Tim in the car as Bob violently rapes and ultimately kills her. Bob is confused with what to do with this 9 year old boy, as he only kills women, and decides to keep Tim around to cook and clean. And by clean, I mean clean up the brutal and bloody murders Bob leaves in his house, starting with his own mother.

After a couple of failed attempts of escape, Bob chains Tim to the house and leaves him enough lag to get around the home completely. This made me think of 'Black Snake Moan'. We fast forward a decade into the future and Tim is still chained, but is now a teenager (Eamon Farren). From here, we see Bob try and teach Tim how to be a serial killer in a sick and twisted father-son type fashion. Here we see Bob treating Tim more like an heir to throne rather than a prisoner. There is even a very creepy scene where the two play Go-Fish with a deck of victim's licenses.

This film differs from the rest of the serial kille films, as it doesn't rely on showing bloody and ultra violent murders, but rather shows a steady paced storyline with intense psychological trauma. This film was originally titled 'Rabbit', due to what Bob calls Tim, but was later changed to 'Chained'. Lynch did a great job of filming the beautiful outdoor scenery of green pastures and bright yellow colored cab, and then transitioning into a dirty brown and yellow interior for a large chunk of the film. It's as if we were seeing the surroundings rotting from start to finish.

D'Onofrio does an amazing job as Bob. He has come a long way from Leonard Lawrence in 'Full Metal Jacket' and Thor in 'Adventures in Babysitting'. His twisted father-son relationship with Tim is so disturbing, that I wouldn't be surprised if he won some kind of award for his role. Farren and Ormond also turn in great performances. I'm sure this was a difficult film to shoot, considering the subject matter, and they all rose to the occasion. 'Chained' is a movie you should own. It's a conversation piece that you will be showing your cinephile friends and talking about over and over again. Even with its strange twist ending, 'Chained' will linger around for days to come.
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What could have been a trashy horror film is a thought-provoking thriller
marais-alexander23 September 2013
Jennifer Lynch is one of those filmmakers who you just can't write off. I was baffled by her overly bloody horror film Surveillance, and pretty polarized about it. Chained however was a different story. She has a lot of integrity with the material, not showing too little (there are gory moments here) but never showing too much. While Surveillance had explicit gore, Chained was a more psychological take on typically gory material. Vincent D'Onofrio is quite simply deplorable, heartbreaking, horrific, misogynist, and excellent as the serial killer. The actor who played Rabbit makes a good, timid-turned-vengeful protagonist and the prisoner of the killer. The camera-work here is superb. The title sequence is one of the creepiest I've seen in years. But Lynch never makes any of these characters inhuman. D'Onofrio's character isn't your run- of-the-mill serial killer character. We see flashes of a brutally grotesque childhood abuse, though we never are quite sure what made him get from there to here as we are given little information. The film leaves some nice, open questions about morality. All in all a good watch - especially because of Vincent D'Onofrio who has a knack at playing killers (he was excellent in The Cell too).
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One boring "arthouse" film
FateDesiny17 November 2013
This movie is just plain bad. Sure, you could do a lot worse, but you could do a lot better as well. This movie is just plain boring from start to finish. It clearly tries to be an indie art-house film, with its sepia tone throughout. However, it never makes a point or portrays anything meaningful.

Basically, its about a batsh*t insane cab-driver who kidnaps women and kills them. He keeps a boy hostage to clean up the mess, because apparently hes so lazy that he needs an underage child to do it for him. Villains like this are so one-dimensional; its like I'm watching Scooby-Doo all over again. Oh, and the ending is completely unnecessary. It tries to surprise you with a "shock" ending, but instead it makes you sigh in disappointment. Its like a brain-damaged orangutan wrote this script, who is also an infant.

People who praise the film say it makes you think. About what? Child abuse? Yeah, people abuse their kids, but that looks nothing like this. This movie couldn't be more shallow. All it does is make the main character as pitiful as humanly possible. Its just like the Kony 2012 scam. It plays at your heart strings but does nothing constructive with your emotionally vulnerable state. This movie is like the Passion of the Christ, because it doesn't make you feel anything except pity for the character.

People who praise the film will try to convince you that haters just dislike it because there is no brainless slasher killer and big boobed bimbos. No, sorry, I dislike the film because there is no point, no character development, no logic and no anything else. The only thing this movie does is make you feel bad. That's it. I could make a movie that makes you feel bad. Have you ever watched those minute long commercials on the TV that shows puppy-eyed starving African children? At least those have something meaningful to say, unlike this film.

I will give this film a few stars, because some of the actors were OK and because (at the very least) the movie makes you feel something.

If you want to watch movies with "Oh, so much meaning! It gives me the feels!", try watching The Orphanage, which (unlike this picture) is actually intelligent and scary.

I'll never understand why films like this are dubbed horror. Its not scary, nor is it that gory either. Its actually tedious, which would be the best word to describe this movie. Tedious.
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gosling2810 October 2012
Well, all I can say right now is .......WOW WOW WOW. Did I mention WOW?Absolutely AMAZING film !! Jennifer Lynch obviously has gotten some genius film genes from her Dad !!!! Everything about it is perfect! I can say that from the very beginning I was literally transfixed. Vincent D'Onfrio is a BRILLIANT actor !! He has played his share of very disturbing characters, but he hit the mother load on this one !! I have a lot of respect for him as an actor because he is so choosy about what he plays. I watched it on my computer and all I knew was Jennifer was the director. After a little bit I realized that it was Vincent...... totally unrecognizable!
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Bereavement meets Perkins' 14 somewhat meets Hostel, the result is definitely worth watching
nitzanhavoc7 May 2013
Other than being original and compelling in its own way, "Chained" features a combination of concepts and ideas from films that have already been made in the past decade or two. As I was watching, I kept noticing similarities to Bereavement and Perkin's 14, and more generally to certain sub-genres like "Torture Porn" (more the concept, less the actual brutal footage, thank God) and even some Slasher films. The overall result is a sad tale that isn't easy to watch, but is pretty well made.

The screenplay managed to be original enough, though the plot twist towards the end felt forced, out of place, and unnecessary. I always prefer films with a good twist, but this one simply wasn't a good one.

The acting I found to be very impressive by both Vincent D'Onofrio as Bob the Cabby and Eamon Farren as Tim/Rabbit. Both played their roll beautifully, though D'Onofrio was the one to really shine. Felt like this role was meant for him.

Cinematography was also very nice, especially the way the girls' faces weren't shown as they were dragged out to be buried, emphasizing how the killer didn't view them as human beings. The sound effects were also good, especially during the end credits where instead of a musical theme we hear footsteps, doors and other ordinary sounds we've gotten used to hearing from that house.

All in all, Chained managed to put together some unoriginal ideas and turn them into a compelling, sometimes terrifying and sometimes touching story. The end rather spoiled it for me, but if you can forgive that - I believe you should watch it, as it is a perfect example of a modern Horror experience.
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Dull and a Waste of Time
fancyindia5 May 2013
This movie is flat, boring and not at all inventive. The acting was poor overall. The script was terrible. The lines were awkward and had no impact. There was no terror, creepiness or sense of fear in the movie, which is odd because of the main concept and violence in the film. I felt the movie glossed over some important stuff that would have been interesting, such as showing more of Rabbit going up in the house, and not jumping ahead so quickly. I felt the reasoning for the evilness in the main villain tried to make you almost feel sorry for him, but I do not think it was a reason for him to do what he did, he was just evil, so it was almost unnecessary. As far as watchability, this movie was so dull I had to skip ahead several times because I couldn't bare to watch it any longer. I honestly don't understand why people enjoyed this movie.
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Junky schlock
dfranzen7015 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Chained, the new thriller by Jennifer Lynch, is essentially about a boy who becomes a man in quite an unorthodox way. Abducted at age nine with his mother, whom is then killed by their kidnapper, the boy is forced to care for and clean up after his captor, a grizzled serial killer. Sheltered from the world, the boy grows up immersed in the unspeakable acts committed by his new father figure, learning about life through the twisted eyes of the killer.

At first, the newly named Rabbit (Eamon Farren) is as trepidatious as his name implies. He wished to escape, to return to his dad. But as the days, weeks, and months progress, escape is illusory. When he does attempt to leave, his captor Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio) chains him to his bed, leaving enough chain so that the growing lad can do his dirty work around the house (getting meals ready, cleaning up crime scenes; you know, normal stuff). Eventually, Bob decides to take a greater interest in the boy's future. Will the boy follow in Bob's footsteps, or will he earn his trust just long enough to get the heck out of Dodge?

The movie is a fascinating portrait of an ersatz father-son relationship. The viewer is told little of Bob's past (why does he bring so many women home to their demise?), and the story is not told strictly through Rabbit's point of view. Bob rapes and kills; Rabbit cooks and cleans. His mental growth is, at best, stunted; he's not dumb, but he is as sheltered as possible. His situation is bizarre, but it begins so early in his life that it's really all he knows. He knows of the outside world only what Bob permits him to know; one of his duties is to cut out newspaper articles relating to Bob's activities and paste them into a scrapbook. Seems kind of foolish if you're trying to elude capture, but Bob seems pretty secure in his remote farmhouse.

The movie itself is not a battle of wills, although Rabbit does show some periodic defiance. It seems mostly to be about brutal, unforgiving violence toward women. In brief, black-and-white flashbacks, we catch glimpses of Bob's childhood and the horrors he himself witnessed and participated in at an early age. In the present, he prowls the city in a cab, looking for victims, kidnaps them, brings them home, rapes and murders them. The boy's job is to open the door, have food ready, clean up messes, dispose of bodies. But Bob is not a stupid man. He believes he sees potential in Rabbit to work as an apprentice and possibly more. He commands the boy to learn about the human body, makes him study thick anatomy books. It's a methodical life that bears similarities in form - but not in function - to that of many working people.

The unorthodox relationship bears interesting consequences. Not only does Bob wish to see his young charge succeed in the art of raping and killing, he wants him to, well, feel the touch of a woman. I'm serious; this is important. The sheltered Rabbit isn't on board with the program, and it's a bone of contention - pun intended - between them for some time.

The first thing that struck me about this movie was how well acted it was. D'Onofrio is terrifying, and not in the movie-monster way; his character's evil seems real, all the more so because of his attention to detail, usually calm demeanor, logic, and intelligence. The character has depths that D'Onfrio plumbs to great success. Farren, as the skittish, unwilling helper, is his match: not a killer, perhaps, but by no means an innocent bystander, either.

The second thing is simply this - the movie's ending is pretty flat. All right, the following is not a spoiler: in the final act, Rabbit must decide whether he wants to be Bob Jr. or to get out for good. He's not fully grown, mentally or physically. So he makes his decision, with unexpected consequences. It was a good twist, well played by Farren and D'Onofrio. But then the movie continued, needlessly adding a second ending, giving us closure when we sure didn't need it. To be frank, the second so-called ending essentially opened up more questions for no good reason. Pointless doesn't begin to describe it. Picture this: you've achieved some resolution, as the viewer. You may not respect Rabbit's choice - or perhaps you do - but at least something's been completed. Then the movie suddenly, without any provocation, goes off into an entirely unasked-for direction that made no sense even after it played out.

To say more would truly ruin things, but to me the ending shifted the movie from "okay" status to "pretty bad" status; all of the competence of 90 minutes or so was trumped tenfold by those final scenes, as details were introduced that attempted to explain prior behavior of characters - but the explanation held little water, a leaky plot bucket.

On the plus side, at least Chained is a marked improvement over Lynch's last big-release film - Boxing Helena, in 1993! - with Sherilyn Fenn and Julian Sands. But that's truly damning with faint praise. Although the audience where I saw Chained seemed to really love it, I just saw it as wildly exploitative junk that couldn't even play by its own messy rules - despite compelling performances by its leads. It was almost as if Lynch was trying to sabotage her own screenplay. Chained is a horrendously directed, clueless bait-and-switch movie that dares you to identify with its leads, either one, despite giving no strong reason for you to do so.
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what a film
lee-plant-500-51768213 February 2013
i saw this film as the story looked interesting, this is a strange film as it is a sexually violent film but keeps a lot to the imagination. this film blew me away, wheel scripted, well acted and well directed and a great twist that i didn't see coming. whether you like horror, thrillers or films in general watch this film now.

i was impressed with the realism of the script and the acting in general, it is definitely an indie film but deserves a blockbuster audience, anybody who enjoys a good movie would be letting themselves down if they failed to watch this film wow.

i was transfixed from the open scene, i would describe this film as a slow burner but rather say this film simmers throughout and provides a dull moment.
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Not impressed
jfdevoux4 November 2012
All I can say about this movie is disappointment. The acting wasn't good, the script wasn't good, and the supposed scenes of graphic violence and rapes were non existent. It took every once of energy in me just to stay awake during this movie. I kept thinking it would get better, but as one other user put it, this movie was very redundant. The same thing keeps happening over and over again with no plot. There was nothing scary about this movie, and I am uncertain why it is rated "R". I am fairly certain most ten year olds could watch this movie and be bored to death as well. I do not recommend anyone wasting their hard earned money on this movie, and if I could get my money back, I would. The price was outrageous as well, it should have been $2, but I paid nearly $14, what a waste!
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