Hey gang, Valkor here. I have to say, like this Vincent D'Onofrio guy; Loved him in Men in Black, Full Metal Jacket and I'm currently enjoying his work in Law and Order: Criminal Intent. He plays some pretty demented characters, but he does it so well. So when this new DVD "Chained" scooted across my desk, and I see his name in the cast, I didn't hesitate to pop that bad boy into my player and start watching. And if I ever had doubts about this guy's acting chops, it all but ended after watching this amazing film. But I never had any doubts. Very mild spoilers ahead.
Chained mainly centers on a little boy named Tim (Evan Bird at the start, but later it's Eamon Farren who takes the role), who while out seeing a movie with his mom, gets kidnapped by an unknown Taxi driver who's also a rapist/serial killer (D'Onofrio). The guy's name is Bob and he kills the mom and takes Tim, who he now calls "Rabbit" under his wing, giving him a specific set of instructions on how to survive within his household. In a failed attempt at escape, Rabbit is "chained" up within the house, with enough leeway to move about. During this time Rabbit gets older and Bob continues his raping killing spree, bringing home his victims and burying them beneath his house. Rabbit witnesses it all and one day Bob decides it's time that Rabbit should pop his killer cherry and do the deed. Though he's totally against it, it doesn't look like Bob is giving him much of a choice. So not only does Rabbit have to contend with the fact that he has to commit a murderous act, whether he wants to or not, but he must also face a startling revelation concerning his past. I'm being very vague with the details concerning Chained as I truly don't want to give everything away. It's rare that I get a treat this good and I'm able to share it with you guys. But needless to say, I watched the film three times back to back and I'm still shaken up by it.
And there's a reason for that. For me, Chained comes at a time where we're still reeling and dealing with the kidnapping/trapping of the three girls in Ohio, held by the monster that's now dead by his own hands. I won't go on a rant about it, but I'm glad the girls are free yet my heart weighs heavy for them as they'll never get the many years trapped within that house back again. This film hit a little close to home and it might tough for some to watch. Otherwise, it's damn good storytelling and I'll tell you why in the TOV Breakdown.
Chained is a psychological and emotional joyride of a thriller, taking you deep into the mindset of a cold-blooded killer as well as a young man who is forced to witness his atrocities. Bob is ruthless, fierce and while we don't get to see much of his murderous acts on screen, we do know he shows no sympathy for his prey. We're also thrust into the mindset of Rabbit, who has to witness it all plus he has to deal with Bob's rules; for the most part he's timid and weak, though he does show a flash or two of strength later on. And what really got to me was how Rabbit, through all the years of watching Bob, never truly develops a taste for killing, yet he's still calculating in his own right. The story is gripping, compelling, and it will grab you straight from the jump. The acting is the film's strongest suite, with D'Onofrio owning his role, giving a stellar performance – it will run chills down your spine. Eamon Farren as Rabbit, gets an acting kudos as well, whose Rabbit plays off amazingly well against D'Onofrio's Bob. But what really sells the film is the ending - it is mind blowing and the only reason why I watched the film three times; yes it was that good. Chained is one intense thriller that's instantly a TOV favorite and definitely worth checking out.
Just one minor instance when we jump straight away from Rabbit as a child to a young adult. It's just a little too quick and it should have been given a smoother transition.
Chained DVD might be tough to handle for some (I can be piled in that group) but if you haven't seen it then I highly suggest making adding this one either to your collection or digital queue. It's an intense and gruesome thriller with an ending that will take your breath away and leave an impression long after the film is over. So out of TOV 5 stars, Chained gets a well deserved 4.5.