Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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... … More
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Critic Reviews for Chained
It boasts no character insight, social commentary or discernible overall point to counter charges that this is just a redundant wallow in arted-up, torture-porn cruelty.
Deserves credit for trying to mine some relatively intelligent chills out of something different, topical, and primally disturbing.
Lynch...presents nuanced, sepia-tinged menace with a clear and determined eye.
Jennifer Lynch, daughter of David, does the filmmaking equivalent of drunkenly totalling dad's prized Ferrari.
[It] will likely find favour with horror audiences looking for something more thoughtful than another instalment of Saw.
Audience Reviews for Chained
Chained is a decent horror movie that tries to be a dual character study of one man raised in physical bondage and another raised in emotional bondage. It has an interesting premise and features solid performances, especially from the ever creepy D'Onofrio. Also, the film offers some fine thrills and is absorbingly macabre.
However, like many other films of it's ilk, it suffers from a lackluster ending. I think Lynch and Co. wanted to add a whole other dimension of terror at the end and decided to tag on a twist that for this reviewer was ultimately unsatisfying. But, in this unsatisfying horror climate, Chained was a good way to spend 1 and 1/2 hours.
With this being her third film in roughly as many years, Lynch seems to have fully recovered from the battering she took over her 1993 debut "Boxing Helena". Her films certainly aren't to everyone's taste but they're never less than interesting. "Chained" lives up to the promise shown in "Surveillance" and is her most accomplished work to date.
D'Onofrio has long been a favorite of mine and here he finally gets the lead role he deserves, a taxi driver who conveniently uses his profession to kidnap and murder young women. When he picks up Ormond and her young son, he kills the mother and decides to keep the boy as a slave. Years have passed and the boy is now a teenager (Farren) and has succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome. Feeling sympathetic, D'Onofrio decides it's time he let his captive out into the world but can only do this by forcing Farren to become a killer too.
Lynch creates a claustrophobic atmosphere and Shane Daly's impressive cinematography is reminiscent of Fincher. Despite the bleakness, there are moments of black humor, particularly a game of Top Trumps played with the driver's licences of D'Onofrio's victims. Much of Lynch's good work however is undone by an absurd final twist which the director claims was a creative decision forced on her. Lynch has most definitely stepped out of her father's shadow at this point and is now a film-maker worth keeping an eye on.
Chained is an example of a movie that doesn't know what it wants to be. It tries to be a horror movie and physiological drama while doing none of them to much success.
Chained follows Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protegee Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor. Let me tell you this is all that happens in the movie with a completely unnecessary last minute twist that didn't work. At times the movie does create some creepy atmosphere and it's hard to watch a kid in such a terrible life style. Which becomes a problem when that kid grows up to be a teenager. This makes you question why didn't this character attempt to escape from his captor after his first attempt. The plot does have it moments, but scenes are drawn out. Diving into the captor past was interesting and wondering if his captive would become like him was what kept me watching. For a film that has allot of women being killed it didn't get across an unsettling feeling. Mostly due to the lack of any blood and gore. The acting was pretty good, but these actor only stick to an handful of emotional range from sadistic, depress, angry, and fearful. Without much room for these actors to express themselves their performances do not have much effect on us. The cinematography is very good, but it solely taking place in one dirty and dull looking house which becomes tiring to see after the the thirty minute mark. Chained did have some interesting ideas and the premise had potential to explore much more. Though what you'll ultimately get is a movie that keeps switching from a horror to a physiological drama without satisfactory from any of them.
Chained has some interesting ideas that don't work like they could have. It potential to become something good, but it's largely wasted on ideas that never come full circle.
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