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.
The high-definition transfer of this film does nothing to keep it from feeling grimy and filthy. All the clarity of the picture does is give us a better view of the abhorrent and despondent world Rabbit lives in. This is the sort of movie you might wish still had film grain and muddy spots to hide some of the despicable things Bob does.
A 7.1 surround sound mix brings all the horrific sounds you’d never want to hear to life. One moment you’ll be immersed in dreaded silence. The very next screaming will make you wish you could return to the quiet place you were in before.
Although it appears there isn’t much here when it comes to bonus material, audio commentary from Director Jennifer Lynch and Actor Vincent D’Onofrio give insight into the making of the film and other captivating subjects. An alternate version of a girl named Mary’s death is included as well. A trailer for the movie is also featured. It would be interesting to see a “Making of” featurette with footage of them shooting the movie in the house or on set.
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.