Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio), a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his
prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must
make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or
breaking free from his captor.
In the short time that Jennifer Lynch has been making her mark on cinema, I have grown to enjoy her style of film. At least, based on this one and her last effort, "Surveillance". I confess I am not familiar with "Boxing Helena". Her latest films are odd, but not absurd -- just odd enough to be unique and really draw people in by their novelty (a great quality to have). Here we have the serial killer story, but told in a very different way: through the eyes of a captive held for nine years. (Critics have said this idea was already presented in "Bereavement", but I would argue this is the better film.)
D'Onofrio gives a solid performance, one that may be among the best of his recent career. Trying to gauge his character is tough -- smart, stupid, slow? He is clearly clever enough to do what he does and get away with it, but his way of speaking clearly implies some sort of mental issues beyond the murderous intentions.
One could psychologically analyze Rabbit all day. He is the poster child for "learned helplessness", accepting defeat after years of beatings. Yet, he does not fit with the classic idea of Stockholm Syndrome -- he accepts Bob as his master, but only grudgingly so. And there could also be talk of nature versus nurture. Certainly, Bob is "nurturing" Rabbit to become a killer -- but will he accept it?
My friend and horror adviser, Aaron Christensen, had what he calls a violent, visceral reaction to this film and even had the urge to punch director Lynch in the face (particularly after she explained that the film was intended as a message against child abuse). For him, there is too much of a need for suspension of disbelief and this story could only exist in a "fairy tale" world. We are in disagreement. I have no opinion on the child abuse claim (though it seems rather strange), but I approach all horror films from the point of view of a fairy tale, more or less. Sure, this film was presented as more real than, say, "Nightmare on Elm Street", but I saw little need to pick out the plot holes -- some being so obvious that pointing them out is hardly a mental challenge (such as why Rabbit never escapes).
You may agree or disagree on the greatness of this film, or even have no strong reaction at all. I would be curious to hear more thoughts from people... I did not realize this film would be a conversation piece, but apparently it is.
Action / Horror / Thriller
Action / Horror / Thriller
This movie is about A cab driver called Bob (Vincent D'Onofrio) who picks up women and takes them to his house where he kills them. But on this one day he picks up a woman and her 9 year old son Tim. Bob then makes Tim live in the house with him all while he keeps killing women. Tim grows up there, watching, seeing all that happens. Bob wants to make him his protégé. Will Tim carry on the legacy?
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September 29, 2012 at 02:19 AM