Magazine article Screen International

Chained

Magazine article Screen International

Chained

Article excerpt

Dir: Jennifer Lynch. US. 2012. 105mins

Though there was a 15-year gap between Jennifer Lynch's debut feature Boxing Helena (1993) and her sophomore effort Surveillance (2008), she has become slightly more prolific, following up with the little-seen snakewoman horror film Hiss, a contribution to the anthology film Girls! Girls! Girls! and an episode of the TV show Psych. Adding Chained to her resumé means that her filmography is starting to take on an auteurist feel, which is a mixed blessing since she carries over faults (notably, a preference for absurd, twist-filled final acts) from film to film as well as a set of thematic concerns (characters trapped in dependent relationships, serial murder) and a knack of getting fine work from undervalued character actors.

There have been a plethora of abduction, restraint, sexual torture, surveillance, serial murder and chained-in-the-basement movies in recent years and Lynch's slightly higher-toned direction doesn't really bring enough fresh to the overtilled field

In a scenario which parallels the recent direct-to-DVD downer Bereavement, serial killing cab driver Bob (Vincent d'Onofrio) snatches Sarah Fittler (Julia Ormond) and her nine-year-old son Tim (Evan Bird) after they've spent an afternoon at the movies and drives them back to his surreally isolated, bunker-like home. He rapes and kills Sarah, traumatising the child, whom he renames 'Rabbit', but opts to keep on the boy ('I didn't ask for you') as a slave, chaining him up and using him to clean the house and help bury the bodies under it.

Some years later, Rabbit (Eamon Farren) is still in thrall to the tyrant Bob, who takes it into his mind to mentor the lad and even has hopes that the fiercely-moral boy will join him in his pastime of murdering women he regards as disposable 'whores'. However, Rabbit has grown cunning ... and there are a few added plot developments (some of which evoke Roland Joffé's scarcely well-liked Captivity) to complicate the payoff. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.