HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

Search by title # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
CHAINED
Download Movie
Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Jennifer Lynch

Starring:
Vincent D'Onofrio
Jake Weber
Eamon Farren
Julia Ormond

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A mom and her 9-year-old son are kidnapped by Bob, a deranged serial killer (Vincent D'Onofrio). After he does away with the mother, Bob keeps the little boy (aka Rabbit) chained up in his house to act as his slave / man-servant, forcing him to help him clean up the mess of all the victims that he takes home. Years later, Bob feels the urge to teach Rabbit (now a teenager) about what he does and how to do it.
Is it good movie?
Serial killer movies are a dime a dozen these days. Ever since classics like HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, or even more recent shite like SEVEN and THE CELL, it seems that for every really good movie that dives into the mind of a sadistic killer, thereís about a dozen copycats that end up being barely watchable at most. Lucky for us, Jennifer Lynchís CHAINED is of the former variety, offering a taut psychological thriller by way of a killer taking his victim under his wing, and focusing the film as a sort-of character drama under the guise of torture horror.

CHAINED is a brutally uncomfortable movie to watch. From the very beginning where youíre forced to watch a little boy and his mother kidnapped and later murder, to the way the little boy (aka Rabbit) is forced to do some really horrendous shit just to stay alive, to all the other victims the killer (aka Bob) brings home throughout the film, this is a type of horror/thriller thatís not fun to watch in the least. But thatís not to say that it isnít goodóit is, and the uncomfortable feelings you have at the beginning of the film generally wear off a little bit once the main thick of the story kicks in when Bob begins to feel something like ďfatherly loveĒ for Rabbit, and you begin to realize the film will end in one of two ways: Rabbit will break free, or heíll become the killer that Bob wants him to be, whether he likes it or not.

The unknown end result is what keeps the tension and the energy going throughout CHAINED. Bob could lose his shit and Rabbit could end up like Bobís dozens of other victims, and since you wantóno, you need--Rabbit to survive, thereís plenty of tense moments between the two where you literally donít know what is going to happen next. And itís because of its unpredictability that makes the film standout from the other serial killer movies of the genreóit dares to be different.

Well, to some degrees. In many ways, Bob is just like every other serial killer youíve seen before. He had a troubled childhood, he blames women for all of his problems, he kills without blinking an eye, and he has some bizarrely skewed set of morals that donít make much sense when all you do is kill people. What saves Bob from fading into mediocrity is the performance by Vincent D'Onofrio, who gives a really mean, haunting, and plain brilliant performance in CHAINED. Seriously, this guy is one of the better, under-appreciated actors working today. I was reminded of his portrayal of the killer in THE CELL a few too many times, though. And if I had one negative thing to say about how he handled Bob, that would be it. But he did really well in THE CELL too, so not sure itís a total bad thing.

Evan Bird and Eamon Farren also do a great job at playing Rabbit, a role that is incredibly intense and probably every actorís dream, especially at an early age, to be able to take on in a movie like this. Rabbit and Bob are pretty much the two main characters and the two you get to know the most for the majority of the movie, not counting the nameless victims Bob takes homeóand mostly, all they do is scream and beg for their lives, so you canít really say much about them other than they were able to portray fear just by screaming well.

And thatís the thing about CHAINED that may be the most interesting: itís brutally violent and hard to watch. And yet, at the end of the movie, after thinking about what I had just seen, I came to realize that save for one bloody death, the film isnít graphic at all. Kills happen off camera, or you see a bloody body here and thereóbut besides the once instance, you donít see any of the killing, the knife-to-skin penetration, or anything gory. But while the film is playing, everything is so dark and intense that you begin to think that itís brutally gory. Video / Audio Video: The Blu-ray is presented in full 1080p HD, and while itís a dirty, grimy, and sometimes ugly movie, it still looks really freakiní good in HD.

Audio: TrueHD 5.1 Digital Sound makes every blood curdling scream, beating, and character monologue hard-hitting and in your face. In other words, the sound is good.

Video / Audio
Video: The Blu-ray is presented in full 1080p HD, and while itís a dirty, grimy, and sometimes ugly movie, it still looks really freakiní good in HD.

Audio: TrueHD 5.1 Digital Sound makes every blood curdling scream, beating, and character monologue hard-hitting and in your face. In other words, the sound is good.

The Extras
Deleted Scene: While Iíve boasted about the filmís lack of graphic violence, the deleted scene is just that: a more graphically gory death sequence than what was eventually used in the movie. Not sure why they went the tamer route, but you have the opportunity to see it all in its throat-gushing glory here.

Along with the Blu-ray, Anchor Bay also threw in a copy of the film on DVD. How nice of them.

Last Call
CHAINED is a brutal movie to watch, but a damn solid one. Setting itself apart from other serial killer movies by focusing on the characters rather than the violence is a different change of pace for the genre, but a welcomed one. While thereís not much in terms of extras, the quality of the film alone makes CHAINED a worthy watch.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Mistress Of The Week

More
Winnick, Katheryn