Chained (2012)

Director: Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Writer: Jennifer Chambers Lynch
Based on: a screenplay by Damian O’Donnell
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Eamon Farren, Evan Bird, Julia Ormond, Conor Leslie
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

When Tim (Evan Bird) is 9 years old, he and his mother Sarah (Julia Ormond) are abducted by Bob (Vincent D’Onofrio), a taxi driver. Bob kills Sarah and chains Tim – from then on called only Rabbit – to the house, using him as a slave for general housekeeping, but also for body disposal. Almost 10 years later, Rabbit (Eamon Farren) is still there and Bob realizes that he can’t just leave things as they are – and starts to educate Rabbit to be his successor.

Chained was an excellent, engaging movie – right up until the very end where they tried to surprise the audience with a really implausible twist.

Jennifer Chambers Lynch really knows how to set a scene. Not only was the movie tight and atmospheric, it also profited from great cinematography and a wonderful production design. It’s kinda weird to say this about a film about a subject matter as ugly as this one, but it looked really great.

The cast was really great, too – you’d expect no less from Vincent D’Onofrio (though it is kind of weird that he had an accent). He knows how to play the creeps. But both Rabbits – Eamon Farren and Evan Bird – were really great, too. Especially Eamon Farren is as physical in his acting as Vincent D’Onofrio and makes for an excellent counterweight.


But the script was a little too clunky. First of all, it was completely obvious that Rabbit did not kill Angie, but tried to save her. There was not a moment where I actually thought that she was actually dead.

And the twist at the end was just headdesk-worthy. So, Bob was Rabbit’s uncle, sent by Rabbit’s father to get his mother out of the picture? Really, no. Just no. Also, where was the police at the end? Rabbit might not have called them, but Angie certainly would. It just felt like a cheap trick to surprise the audience that doesn’t make any sense if you look at it more closely. That soured the ending for me.

But other than that it was an intense and exciting film.

Summarising: Very worth seeing, despite the disappointing ending.


6 thoughts on “Chained (2012)

  1. The movie was good because of incredible acting. The end where the father just happened to have an abused serial killer brother he could call on to dispatch of his unwanted family at the beginning of the movie was was a little much. You don’t find that out to the end. If D’Onifiro would have really wanted to screw with the kids head in the beginning he would have not showed Rabbit a news clipping where his dad remarried but the letter requesting he and his mothers death with the cashier’s check. Also, what happened to the girl at the end. Did she just go back home and not contact the police and report that there were dead bodies buried in the bottom of a serial killers house. The end was too unrealistic and took away from a great movie. A much better ending would have been the kid to have been physiological mortally wounded by finding out the truth of the real father, killed the last girl, and go on to repeat the cycle of violence that this upbringing would have caused Rabbit or short circuited and taken his own life. Instead we are left with him going back to the serial killers house and beginning a new life as a normal member of our society. For somebody that saw about 50 women murder and buried, he turned out to be a nice kid. Even saved his step mother at the end. She reciprocates the favor by running him away and of course keeping the insurance money and Porsche to herself.

  2. I don’t usually watch movies that involve such sadistic themes because they play out in my head for days after. I was puzzled by the ending of this movie and thought that reading afew blogs would perhaps shed some light on the ending. I can see that others were also puzzled so I have decided to give my opinion:

    I think that Rabbit had a very deep love for women and felt a sense that he was their protector as he felt he failed to protect his mother in the beginning and this obviously played on his mind throughout his time in captivity. He also saved Angie and his fathers wife and this was perhaps a way of making things right with the guilt he felt from his mothers murder, it is obvious that he didn’t want to be like Bob. In my opinion Angie remained as a captive in house though because, the effect that Rabbits disturbing time in captivity would have had during those crucial developmental years would have rendered him as unable to ever be properly socialise back into society. All of his contact with men was negitive. He would of kept Angie to protect her even against her will. I would also suggest that Rabbit did become a murderer but perhaps the profiles of his victims would have been different.

    Bob and his brother’s issues stem from the abuse they suffered as children at the hands of their father, this abuse also involves their mother and again is very disturbing. One would initially assume that the brothers would have been more sympathetic towards women seeing the suffering of their mother however the type of abuse I would suggest made the mother unable to even look at her sons which consequently draw a serious detatchment in their relationship. In my opinion the feelings that they felt towards their mother were so painful and the abuse so severe that hatred against women was the only way that such emotions could be processes. Also the sadistic attitudes of their father were so persistent, they became ingrained in the boys belief system. I suppose it could be argued that Rabbit perhaps went down this path but I believe that is highly unlikely as Angie would not have survived.

    Understanding how all the characters in the movie became what they were is one of the puzzles of the movie and trying to guess what Rabbit becomes is as big of a puzzle. This is perhaps the thought provoking point of the whole movie.

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