Salutations my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,
Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Chained” sees a serial killer kidnapping a kid to teach him his termination techniques and leave a living legacy.
A killer trying to leave a legacy is something that we often see, but keeping a child in chains and forcing him to take up the reins quickly filled me with a sense of dread of what events might lay ahead. The uneasy feeling was well founded as the action was kept so grounded that certain moments were hard to get through because I could imagine this being true. It does stumble a bit in the third act, but it was not enough to detract from the unsettling scenes that came before or the unnerving premise at the core.
Of course a character centric story will deteriorate if the actors are third rate so we are lucky to have such strong players who provide the many necessary layers. Though vile, the killer is sure to engage as there is more to him than simmering rage and when the signs of humanity appear they make the performance seem even more sincere. Trapped within the murderer’s abode the younger actors carry the load of portraying a person entirely subdued while at the same time keeping the role imbued with enough to hold our interest so that the viewer can fully invest. Both of the boys portrayed very well someone suffering in a personal hell and doing their best to avoid observation out of a sense of self preservation.
In this way the direction matches our lead’s unobtrusiveness as the score and cinematography never try to impress, but instead keep the focus on the interactions rather than adding in distractions. The natural lighting is worth a mention as it further adds to the intention by always appearing overly bright whether it is day or night. Moves like these added to the atmosphere as it stripped away the layers of veneer and gave us a product that cut like a knife because it closely resembled things that could happen in real life.
In summation, the style and acting are so well entwined that this picture has lingered on in my mind.
Stick to the shadows my fine friends.