Mar 13 2013
I have been on a horror kick again, and this is bringing to the surface of my mind a slew of sick, twisted horror films I have not yet recommended to you.I started to amend that Monday, and shall continue to right now. There have been certain trailers for horror films that, the moment I saw them, I knew the films would stick with me for life like some kind of internal scar only I could see, but was constantly wishing I could itch. The trailer for the movie High Tension did it to me. The trailer for the movie Funny Games did it to me. And the trailer for Chained did it to me. I did not link it here because I will reveal it to you a little further down in the article. For now, I just want to make you aware of the film. I put Chained on my list of Best Movies of 2012. Not even best horror, mind you. Best overall movies.
The film is a horror movie unlike any you have seen. Do not look at this movie and mistake it as some simple “kid gets kidnapped and has to escape” movie. Though it may appear as such a beast, it’s hide is thick, and once it is hacked away, that real movie that is revealed is nothing short of stunning. I spoke of this film and Kill List back to back for a reason. For horror fans, these two movies are unlike anything you have ever seen, and the performances within push these movies from great to unforgettable. We all knew Vincent D’Onofrio was tapped after we saw Full Metal Jacket and (the far inferior, but visually mesmerizing, The Cell) but you have NEVER seen him like this. And that accent. At first, I had no idea why he used the accent he did in the movie, and now, many months later, I can still hear that semi-retarded drawl in my nightmares. Everything about this movie is like a virus, and infects you more and more the deeper you get into it. Don’t worry, I want you all to see it so I shall keep this article spoiler free.
I bet she is sexually deviant, which makes me like her more.
First off, before I say anything about the plot, I need to tell you that Jennifer Lynch directed this. And yes, she was once a tiny sperm inside of David Lynch. That alone should tell you that you are walking into horror dynasty territory. While David Lynch’s version of horror is far different than his daughters (his vision is drugged up and dream like, dripping drops of surreal like mercury, while hers feels literal and palpable, stinking of blood and rust), it is clear to see she is no normal horror director. Though her first film, Boxing Helena was very Lynchesque and surreal, she found her own voice with Surveillance , a 2008 film I truly enjoyed, but not enough of you saw. But Chained, in my opinion, puts her into the top tier of young directors tackling horror right now. A place she shares with Ti West, Ben Wheatley, Juama Balaguero, and Eduardo Sanchez. Jennifer even made my VHS 3 wishlist for WeGotThisCovered. The point is, she is horror royalty, and you finally see that in full bloom in Chained.
Here, check out the trailer:
That feeling you got in the pit of your stomach during this trailer is utterly justified and stays with you through the whole film.
So, as you can see from that trailer, this is not a date movie. This is a dark ride you take against your will to some place you would never willingly go. It is horror in the truest sense, because everything that happens in this film either has happened to someone, or could. To see a movie like Rec and get scared is cool, because the minute you end the movie you are back into your safe world where there are no zombies taking over your apartment building (yet). But Chained is a different kind of horror. The movie ends and you KNOW this stuff happens. Hell, it makes you NEVER want to take a taxi again, not like that was incredibly alluring to anyone before this film, anyway. But that is why Chained works so well. It is horror that happens. You can try to shake that after seeing it, but you won’t. Hell, this has probably happened with miles of you and you don’t even know it.
I would call it a family film, but only to ensure the ruination of all the children who watched it under false pretenses.
In hindsight, Chained could have been in my “horror movies that are more like plays” article, because You spend 90% of the film with just two people. Vincent D’Onofrio as Bob, the cab driver and kidnapping psycho. And a boy named Tim who gets his name changed to Rabbit rather early, and it sticks because it has to. We see Tim in two stages of his life (a fact clearly revealed in the trailer) and both actors who play him give harrowing, exhausting performances.
Young Tim is played with genuine innocence and fear, played wide eyed and wonderfully by Evan Bird. You will ache for this kid in many ways. And the later Tim, who we will now call Rabbit, is more a complacent, broken young man, aware of his role and almost warming up to it, forgetting how normal his life was before all of this. Older Rabbit is played by Eamon Farren, and the places you go with him by the end will torment you. Again, we live in a world where this stuff happens, and trying to shake that while watching it is like feeling a film on some level deeper than just watching. Like I said, quite unsettling. A movie that you don’t just watch, you feel, and in the worst ways possible.
Man, this episode of S.V.U is getting pretty serious.
The real performance that needs to be applauded in all of this, though, is Vincent D’onofrio’s.
His portrayal of Bob will go down into my horror history as a character as scary and soul shattering as any I can remember in recent film. D’Onofrio brings a level of horror to this character that is almost too real. One scene, in particular (again, no spoilers) when Bob is having a crucial interaction with Rabbit early on, you can SEE a deviant joy that Bob takes from slowly breaking this kid. Don’t worry, I am not alluding to rape. I could not, in good conscience, recommend a movie where a child gets raped, so put those fears to bed right now if you have any concerning Chained. To be brutally honest, to be raped and killed would have be a better alternative to what this kid suffered through for years. Yes, I said that.
And again, make no assumptions. I am leaving out key details, but know, there are some AMAZING twists and turns in this one, and as you know, I LOVE a good ending to a good film, so much like Kill List, which I recommended Monday, stay glued for the last half hour of this movie. It is unflinching, unblinking, honest horror. You WILL walk away from this movie shaken.
I just wanted to reach in to the screen and save the damn kid, and a movie hasn’t made me feel that since The Orphanage.
And if you are anything like me, which I know you are because here you are, than being beaten down by horror is one of the reasons you watch it. And you must be atleast a bit of masochist because you reading my writing, for God’s sake. Only the sickest of the sick would willingly subject themselves to that. And thus, that is why I am recommending this movie to you, you sick, wonderful freaks.
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