The 16th annual Fantasia Film Festival is concluded in Montreal, Canada. The festival is so packed this year that it’s overwhelming to even begin looking at the film schedule. The horror lineup spans across subgenres and budgets and this is precisely what makes Fantasia so special. Giving equal attention to major productions and low budget indie films, Fantasia has something for everyone.
In its 16th year, there are over 160 screenings during the three-week festival, and it would be insane to even attempt reviewing them all. I’ve been running to the various theaters to catch each flick, and I still can’t watch them all. Although it would be ideal to write full reviews, it would take way too many days, and way too many cups of coffee. What follows are mini-reviews on what I’ve seen so far at Fantasia 2012 including ParaNorman, Hidden in the Woods, Replicas, Chained, and Excision.
SOME TECHNICAL FILMING SPOILERS
Jennifer Lynch keeps improving with each film she makes. Chained is not only her best effort yet, it’s a genuinely chilling, on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. The film follows the story of a young boy, Rabbit (Eamon Farren), who is abducted by a serial killer named Bob (Vincent D’Onofrio) at the age of 9. Rabbit is chained to a wall, thus becoming a slave to the malicious, yet oddly human, Bob. Chained is packed with disturbing visuals as Rabbit is forced to watch Bob rape and murder random women.
Vincent D’Onofrio is brilliant, and his acting carries the film. From his any town USA accent to his childish mannerisms, D’Onofrio delivers a bone-chilling performance. However, there are dull moments scattered throughout Chained. Once in a while, the camera cuts to what is supposed to be a hidden video camera inside Bob’s home. These shots add nothing to the story, and don’t fit within the plot. Ultimately, they take the audience out of the film, which is unfortunate considering how strong the mood is. The biggest issue with Chained is that Lynch sets up for a grand epiphany finale, but instead delivers an odd twist that doesn’t fit with the scope of the film.
This is a novel take on serial killers, and despite the unnecessary twist at the end, Chained will send shivers down your spine for the first 70 minutes.