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'Chained' (2012.) A Movie Review About a Serial Killer With A Twist.

Updated on December 29, 2017
NessMovieReviews profile image

Vanessa is a square screen junkie that loves to find overlooked gems that get hidden in the flood of things to see.


What is Chained About?

Tim and his mum Sarah (Australian for mom) are coming home in a taxi. Sarah soon realises something is amiss but is helpless to relieve herself and her son from their dire situation.

After encountering the taxi driver (Vincent D’Onofrio) keeps Tim chained in his house and renames him Rabbit.

Poor Rabbit tries unsuccessfully to escape his fate as Bob’s servant and protegé as he realizes Bob is a murderer. Rabbit has enough chain to move about the house, but not enough to reach anything of use.

After 9 years will Bob would have a profound influence Rabbit? Is it enough to make him kill too?

Its Rated R

Jennifer Lynch, the director, cut scenes to get the rating down to an R and included these scenes in the special features edition of the DVD copy
Jennifer Lynch, the director, cut scenes to get the rating down to an R and included these scenes in the special features edition of the DVD copy | Source

Quick Film Info

  • Title: Chained
  • Director: Jennifer Lynch
  • Writer: Jennifer Lynch
  • Date of Release: Premiered at Fantasia Festival in August 2012 and then went direct to video in October
  • Genre: Serial Killer/thriller with a psychological undercurrent
  • Budget: $700,000


Some serial killers are fictional - but some movies are based on the real deal

Which of the following serial killers is fictional - only one is correct

See results

My Thoughts on Chained

This movie has a twist. I liked the ending, I thought it was a bit rough for the characters involved in the twist, but that’s what makes it a twist. Movies like this usually end the same, and you never get an explanation about why it is what it is. This twist creates a point of difference and that left me pretty satisfied.

Serial killers...I find them fascinating and horrendous and this film definitely gives a good portrayal of how a serial killer might live. It’s a birds eye view behind the eyes of a killer.

I watched this because I really like Vincent D’Onofrio, he featured heavily in Law and Order: Criminal Intent and then I saw him again in Daredevil – the series and so I went, traipsing through his filmography realising quite quickly that he had appeared in many things I had seen like Jurassic World and Sinister but also Men in Black, the latter having him blend in so well with the character that I had no idea I had seen him (remember Edgar or the Edgar suit? That’s him.)

After watching this movie, nature or nurture questions, pop into my mind as they often do when serial killers get analysed. There are other moves with a similar premise like Room 2015 that cross into that seedy place where people do cruel and misogynistic things to women for reasons unbeknownst to us normal folk.

The story has a gripping influence as it travels along, utilizing the space within the confines of Bob’s house well. Rabbit’s plight slowly builds through tiny details peppered throughout and his food limited. The tiny scared child stays with him over the years as he grows into an adult. It’s through the beautiful performance of Rabbit, that we understand the deeper cruelty of Bob.

I think the acting is solid, D’Onofrio plays a stunning psychopath. The movie made me uncomfortable at times, but no more than other movies with this type. Most of the violence happens off-screen but it is clear when it arrives at the aftermath. I especially appreciated the restraint of the writers in not taking the movie into territories where some go. It never goes too far.

I give Chained 4 empty cereal bowls out of 5.

Originally Lynch wanted another actor to play the part of Bob, however D'Onofrio's application and script reading convinced her she wouldn't regret picking him
Originally Lynch wanted another actor to play the part of Bob, however D'Onofrio's application and script reading convinced her she wouldn't regret picking him | Source

Real or Fictional?

(click column header to sort results)
What Movie  
Real or Made Up  
Freddy Krueger
Friday The 13th
Real - Inspired by reports in the LA times of a string of deaths of Cambodian immigrants - they were too scared to go back to sleep. Some died in their sleep for no clear reason
Mick Taylor
Wolf Creek
Real - Inspired by Australian serial killer Ivan Milat who is as we speak rotting in prison. He got nicknamed "The Backpacker Killer"
Norman Bates
Made Up - Purely fictional character. Later Psycho movies where the killer is a copy cat are based loosely on Ed Gein
Hannibal Lector
Silence of the Lambs
Made up - Fictional character made up and turned into a few movies and a television series. The only reference found to a real life person was a man imprisoned for killing one person who was a close friend

A little clip from the movie - will he decide to be like Bob?

The Writer

Jennifer Lynch the writer and director, is perhaps a name you have heard. I thought it sounded familiar when I researched her and found she wrote the book behind the Twin Peaks series - The Secret Life of Laura Palmer.

Twin Peaks has recently been brought back for a second season after 26 years. David Lynch is her fathe— he had a role in Twin Peaks as well as wrote and directed for it. Jennifer Lynch also had a hand in directing episodes of The Walking Dead, Wayward Pines, American Horror Story and a few others. Most of her movies get deemed as flops, the most famous flop was Boxing Helena but I can find reviews where fans loved that too.

If you like serial killers and movies with a twist that make you feel something, perhaps you should give Chained a whirl.

Most of the violence happens off screen, you are left to your imagination of how bad things are. It creates a tense atmosphere I think.
Most of the violence happens off screen, you are left to your imagination of how bad things are. It creates a tense atmosphere I think. | Source

Main Stars

The cast is quite small, Julia Ormond is Rabbit’s mum, she’s been in a few movies – the ones that I have seen are; Legends of the Fall and First Knight. Some of Bob’s victims have a quite lengthy film and television careers— too many to mention here, but if you pay attention to them, perhaps you will recognise one of his many kills

Vincent D'Onofrio played Edgar before he became nothing like Edgar in Men In Black
Vincent D'Onofrio played Edgar before he became nothing like Edgar in Men In Black | Source

4 Empty cereal bowls out of 5

4 stars for Chained

Final Notes

Some people like comedies they rarely stray from their love of laughter and then stay within a comfy zone of Rom-Com's and lighthearted gush, they want to cry into tissues and feel their heart swell.

Some like war movies or action movies and that type of thing - they still see the violence but there is usually a hero to pin your hopes on. Some never stray into horror, dark, sometimes “yucky” realms. That is fair enough. This movie will take you there, as do most serial killer based movies whether real or fictional. To be honest, I won’t watch war movies. War movies are too real for me. I won’t watch a movie where someone has a terminal illness or their dog has a terminal illness, or their future partner in life is going to die before the end. Gimme horror, thriller, monsters, and serial killers any day over the other stuff that inevitably makes you cry.

Serial killers exist, sure, they are these blights on humanity, derived from something people try to figure out. Movies get made based on them but with lots of fictional up-sizing. Also, a number of people who have dealt with real-life murderers or serial killers would be vastly less than those killed by war or disease.

Zombie wars are ok too. Just sayin.'

© 2017 Mother of Movies and Series Reviews


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    • NessMovieReviews profile imageAUTHOR

      Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 

      2 years ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      I noticed this movie was absent in alot of serial killer musings. This movie is less about the serial killing themselves being discovered or tracked and more about the serial killers life in general which is unusual.. give it a crack.

      Ive just noticed a universal pictures ad on my article. I can only assume that might be a good thing. Fingers crossed

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      2 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Never heard of this film. I will have to give it a watch. Seems like something I might enjoy. I love serial killer films.


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