I love movies that sneak up on you. The ones that you haven’t been waiting years for, been prejudging and speculating about over breakfast with your friends. I love those ones that you put into the player and press play on and that immediately capture you. Disturb you.
Such is the case with director Jennifer Lynch’s third film, the captivating and horrific Chained. Check out the trailer below and then find out why I’m enamoured with the film after the jump.
Chained is in many ways a simple story. A serial killer named Bob (Vincent D’Onofrio) kidnaps a mother and her son, and winds up keeping the child as his servant/apprentice/slave. As the child dubbed Rabbit becomes a young man (Eamon Farren), the question becomes whether he will become a mirror of his captor.
Filmed in Regina and Moose Jaw, Chained is one of the most harrowing films I’ve seen in a very long time. D’Onofrio is absolutely evil incarnate as a woman-hating killer, all ticks and slow speech. In a career of fantastic performances, this is certainly one of D’Onofrio’s most riveting. He goes for broke, never tries to make his Bob anything more or less than the monster he is, even during those occasional moments of tenderness he demonstrates to his captive.
Though Eamon Farren holds his own working virtually all of his scenes with D’Onofrio, Chained really does belong to its lead actor and its brilliant director. Jennifer Lynch carries either a blessing or a burden as the child of auteur David Lynch (one of my personal favourite directors, truth be told), but in the case of Chained, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Lynch has a mastery over sound and lightning, and tells a compelling story with minimal tricks by getting the best out of her actors (sit through the end credits – they’re the best I’ve ever heard).
Chained is dark stuff and not for everybody. Its moments of violence are brutal and frighteningly real. But sit through the film and you’re rewarded with a memorable performance from Vincent D’Onofrio and a movie that isn’t afraid to question what makes us who we are.