Fantasia 2012: Jennifer Lynch has ‘Chained’ the Serial Killer Monster
Written by Jennifer Lynch, based on a screenplay by Damian O’Donnell
Directed by Jennifer Lynch
“I shall call you… Rabbit,” is the most chilling line of any film this year. Spoken slowly but deliberately with a slight lisp and a faint Germanic accent by Vincent D’Onofrio, the voice alone places Bob somewhere between Hans Beckert and Jeffrey Dahlmer. D’Onofrio’s performance as Bob is a virtuoso effort by one of our great (albeit under-utilized) actors, delicately inhabiting a brute, like a ballerina trapped in a gorilla’s body.
“When I said I cast Vincent D’Onofrio, I was told that he was too TV… What The Fuck?! Have you not seen Full Metal Jacket?”
Bob is a taxi driver whose specially modified cab makes it easier for him to kidnap women, drive them back to his isolated rural home, rape them and kill them. One day, he picks up Sarah Fittler (Julia Ormond) and her ten year old son Tim (Evan Bird) at the movies where they have just seen a horror film. After killing Sarah, Bob changes Tim’s name to Rabbit, telling him, “I didn’t choose you, but I will make the most of it.”
“I wanted to talk about abuse. I wanted to start a dialogue. The main thing is we have to fucking stop hurting the kids!”
Rabbit becomes Bob’s servant, “You will have one job. You do what I say. You clean up my house,” which begins with cleaning up the remains of his mother. In time, teenage Rabbit (Eamon Farren) becomes Bob’s reluctant student and it becomes clear that Bob intends for Rabbit to become his son and heir.
“I wanted to write an original horror story… I decided not to do something supernatural, which left serial killers. I had seen films where someone is chased by the killer, Halloween, and I had seen films where the police chase the killer, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs, but I had never seen a film where an ordinary person is parachuted into a serial killer’s life and can’t get away.”