Do you like horror movies? Because I personally do. I like the psychological thrill that they give me, leaving me guessing about what could happen next. Psychological thrillers are good, but mixing two of my favorite genres in one is something that can give me a run for my money. Such is a psychological horror called, Chained that came out in the year of 2012.
There is a new perspective that it tried looking at in the movie that wasn’t given as much credit a decade ago. A look into what could make an individual do heinous crimes, what kind of environment makes someone forget the humanity in them, and whether nurture or the environment an individual grows up in, is a contributor to the way a person turns out.
Chained is a psychological horror movie that portrays a serial killer, their becoming, and then him trying to make someone else just like him. Initially, when the movie Chained came out, it received quite a positive response from the audience, but as times have progressed, there have been criticisms regarding the portrayal and how the movie turned out, but those who saw the potential in it are still looking for answers as to what actually happened at the end of the movie.
This horror movie is directed by American director Jennifer Lynch and is based on the screenplay of famous screenplay writer Damian O’Donnell. It first premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival a year before its official release and then was released in the United States under Anchor Bay Entertainment production. The film is considered to be originally a Canadian production.
The film came with a low budget and was shot in the span of just fifteen days, but the movie had the impact it did on people who wanted to watch, who wanted to work in it, and who wanted to share a message with the movie they brought forward. Jennifer says she made this movie so that she could make a comeback into the filming world, which she did. Also, mentioning how this movie was originally supposed to be named ‘Rabbit’ but then it was settled to be named ‘Chained’.
The actors in the movie have been deeply appreciated for the characters that they portrayed on-screen. No one can point a finger and say that they did not give the movie their absolute best. We have several actors playing a part in the movie, Julia Ormond, Conor Leslie, Jake Weber, and Gina Philips, while the two protagonists of the movie are Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays the role of Bob, a serial killer who captured Rabbit (Tim) played by Eamon Farren when he was younger along with his mother. The movie highlights the relationship that the serial killer and this boy shares and how he grows up living in the house of a serial killer.
There are a lot of aspects being highlighted in the movie, maybe being labelled as classics, but the message and the plotline in and of itself were loved by the people. The audience review says that the depiction could have been a little different, and the movie would have been an absolute hit! There is a significant amount of appreciation that the movie received for some of the major scenes in the movie, though, that are known to have absolutely hit the spot with the fandom.
Plotline of the Movie ‘Chained’
Before getting to the ending, setting the base is important. So looking into the plotline for the movie, the movie starts with a mother and son that we come to know as Sarah and her nine-year-old son taking up a taxi to return home after watching a movie together at the cinema theatre. It would have been a normal ride home after a fun day out, but things were not so simple today as their driver, Bob, had different plans for them.
He took the mother and son duo to his house, where he went on to murder Sarah, the mother, while he kept her son chained to the wall to watch it all play out. This was the first time the little boy saw something so gruesome and atrocious happen, and that too to his own mother. This won’t be the last time, though. Bob renamed the boy ‘Rabbit’ and kept him alive, keeping him alive as a slave who could do the petty work for him.
What petty works, you ask? The petty work involved Rabbit having to dig graves for all the women that Bob killed. Bob was a cold-blooded serial killer who viewed women as sexual objects and killed them off when he had his way with them, and he used his taxi and taxi driving as a cover-up to hide his real motives from the world.
The movie tried to show why Bob turned out to be a serial killer, highlighting his traumatic past where he had a father who would abuse him and ask him to do awful things to his mother, such as have sexual intercourse with her. In the movie, he is seen to even have flashbacks from his past that follow him around, making him unable to stop what he is doing, inflicting the pain on others that his father inflicted upon him.
Eventually, he unchained Rabbit, the small boy who was growing into a teenager now. There was a change in Bob’s plans, though, as he did not want Rabbit as someone who works for him but someone who can become a serial killer along with him. He started thinking that maybe he could develop a bond with Rabbit and teach him about human anatomy and provide him with a lot of books, too, just to prepare him for a future like Bob’s.
Bob wants Rabbit to commit his first murder and kidnaps a girl, Angie. He forced Rabbit to choose from a yearbook. Locked in a room with a kidnapped Angie, Rabbit finds himself unable to harm the girl in any way and ends up talking to her, forming a bond. Making it only harder for him to harm her, but when Rabbit hears the door opening, he decides to stab Angie in the stomach.
What actually happens at the end of ‘Chained’?
After killing Angie and putting her corpse into a room with the other victims, Bob is happy about his training turning out well and takes Rabbit along with him on a ride through the city to find another victim. Rabbit refuses to choose any of the women, though, making Bob grow suspicious, and his suspicions are confirmed when he sees that Rabbit has written ‘HELP’ at the side of his cab, and also that Rabbit had smartly stabbed Angie in a non-lethal area of her stomach. Infuriated, Bob knocks Rabbit unconscious and goes to kill Angie himself. But he injures himself in the process, and Rabbit ends up coming back and killing Bob in a fight for self-defense.
The next we see, Rabbit is able to find his biological father, Brad, who was actually Bob’s younger brother. Brad is remarried now, with his wife Marie and son Colin. Brad acts like he is happy that Rabbit, or as he comes to know, Tim is here to see him. His facade does not last long, though, as Tim confronts Brad about his sinful act in the past.
Brad was the one who wrote to his older brother Bob to abduct and kill his wife and son as his next victim, so Brad could get rid of his first wife and son. Brad shows his true colors and starts attacking Tim, but ends up beating Brad to death. Marie asks Tim to run away from the situation, likely herself having fallen victim to Brad’s own abuse.
The next scene we are shown is of Tim closing the door to the garage of Bob’s house, where he goes back. There are no police officers crowding the place or even a trace of what might have happened to Angie in the end. There are a lot of conspiracy theories that people have come up with, some saying that Angie did run free from the situation after Bob was killed, and the police did investigate the case, but that it was all not spelled out for us, some say Rabbit (Tim) ended up killing Angie too, so she would not go to the police.
What was clear, though, is that as the end credits started rolling in, we could hear Tim entering the house and then coming back into the garage, opening the taxi door and then the garage door, signing and putting a question mark on a lot of things.
In one world, Tim actually ended up getting the help that he needed, where the murders he committed were labeled self-defense and were let out after a not-so-harsh punishment, while Angie lived too. While, in a different world, it could be that Tim did actually end up killing Angie and burying her body in the grave next to Bob’s, and having already committed three murders, Tim went on to actually become a serial killer.
The conclusion is more or less open to interpretation, and nothing can be said for certain. Who is to say that having been exposed to such gruesomeness, Rabbit did not actually end up giving the same torture out into the world that he wanted to run away from?