Chained (★★ Empire Review)

ChainedSquarePLOT A taxi-driving serial killer (Vincent D’Onofrio) abducts a woman and her son, killing the mother but keeping the boy in captivity for years as a slave-cum-protégé.

There’s nothing in either the filmmaker or feminist manuals which says that a woman can’t make a misogynistic movie, and so it proves with the latest twisted tale from David Lynch’s daughter, director of the notorious Boxing Helena. Vincent D’Onofrio is outstanding as a serial killer who preys on the women he picks up in his taxi, and who decides to keep the son of one of his victims (Eamon Farren) chained in captivity as a slave and potential protégé. This intriguing relationship initially calls to mind the Austrian chiller Michael, but in place of that film’s subtlety and psychological curiosity, Lynch has nothing but stylised exploitation, with sympathetic flashbacks and some unflinchingly-staged scenes of rape and murder leaving an unpleasant aftertaste, before a superfluous twist ending lands with a resounding thud. ★★

VERDICT Jennifer Lynch’s latest is a nasty piece of art-house exploitation, which ultimately squanders not only its initial promise, but also fine performances from D’Onofrio and Farren.

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