The 2012 crime horror film ‘Chained,’ directed by Jennifer Lynch, revolves around the unnerving relationship between a kid and his captor, a serial killer. In an unfortunate turn of events, Tim and his mother enter the wrong taxi cab and become victims of Bob Fittler, a notorious inconspicuous serial killer. After Tim’s mother dies, Bob dubs Tim “Rabbit” and keeps him as his prisoner, chained to the house. Tim gets older under Bob’s influence and abuse as the years go by, torn between maintaining his innocence and morals or giving into his kidnapper’s depraved ways. If you’re curious to see where this haunting upbringing leads Tim and what damages it leaves behind, here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Chained.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!
Chained Plot Synopsis
On a regular afternoon, Tim and his mother, Sarah, hail a cab on their way home from a movie theater. However, the silent taxi driver deviates from the route halfway through and takes the mother-son duo to a remote house in the middle of nowhere. Unable to get a signal to call her husband, Sarah tries to stop the driver, but the situation steadily worsens. The driver drags Sarah into the house, leaving Tim in the garage, who overhears her mother’s screams as she is raped and killed.
Afterward, the driver, Bob, returns for Tim, whom he calls “Rabbit,” and imprisons him to the house. Bob makes the kid clean his house and feeds him leftovers. He also forces Tim, now Rabbit, to clean up the torture room where Bob rapes and kills all his victims. The women Bob drags back home are all buried in the ground in an adjacent dark room. After killing the women, Bob makes Rabbit collect their wallet’s contents and find newspaper articles about their deaths to be put into a scrapbook.
A couple of months later, Rabbit tries to escape through the attic window when Bob leaves for work during the day. Nevertheless, Bob anticipating his move, catches him and attacks him with rocks while goading him on. Ultimately, Rabbit fails to escape and gets tethered to a wall with a long metal chain. Several years pass until Tim loses all his spirit and turns into Rabbit, timid and scared.
One day after Bob returns home in a sour mood after a pair of father-son customers reminds him of his own traumatizing past, he tells Rabbit he wants him to get an education. Handing him biology books, Bob orders Rabbit to read up and learn everything he can about people to help him understand what makes them tick. Bob also implies he will find a victim for Rabbit next, considering him old enough to take up after himself. Rabbit rebukes the offer, insisting he won’t kill people. The rejection angers Bob, and he reveals to Rabbit that his father has remarried and moved on without even looking for him.
Dejected and hopeless, Rabbit starts reading numerous books about human anatomy, presumably to know how to kill people. Even though Rabbit continuously refuses to pick out a victim, Bob unchains him, perhaps as a show of goodwill. Shortly after, Bob forcefully makes a choice on Rabbit’s behalf from a high school yearbook and brings home a young girl for Rabbit.
After locking the girl in a room, Bob presents Rabbit with the option of raping and killing the girl to earn his trust. Still reluctant, Rabbit enters the room after Bob warns him that if he doesn’t harm the girl, Bob himself will do it. Inside the room, the girl, Angie, scared as she is, tries to talk to Rabbit and empathizes with his situation. Eventually, Rabbit asks the girl to trust him and stabs her in the stomach. Bob watches him drag the body to the burial room. The next day Bob takes Rabbit outside to hunt for his next victim.
Chained Ending: Does Rabbit/Tim Kill Angie?
When locked in the room with Angie, the scared girl extends empathy and kindness to Rabbit. Even though her offer of willing compliance stems from a place of fear and self-preservation, she also understands that Rabbit, having been a prisoner since childhood, is also a victim in his situation. The same marks the first time someone has validated Rabbit’s dreadful situation and treated him like a person in years. Due to the same, Rabbit develops a connection with Angie and becomes protective of her.
Therefore, when Rabbit stabs Angie in the stomach, he avoids any vital organs to ensure Angie doesn’t die. After Angie realizes Rabbit is trying to help her, she pretends to be dead to trick Bob. The next day, Rabbit discreetly paints a help sign on the side of Bob’s taxi before leaving the house with him. Although he hopes someone will notice the sign, his plan fails once Bob realizes the same. As a result, Bob becomes increasingly angry, hitting Rabbit and returning to the house to finish the job and kill Angie.
In the end, Tim finally finds his courage again when locked in the garage while Bob goes to rape and kill Angie. The moment likely reminds Tim of his first day at the house when Bob killed his mother while he was helpless to stop it. Unwilling to let history repeat itself, Tim escapes from the garage and enters the burial room, where he stabs Bob in the neck and kills him, saving Angie’s life.
Later, he helps Angie rest in the house, safe and sound, away from the torture room. The stab wound likely causes some issues, but given that, Tim knows how to sew wounds, it’s possible that he helps Angie with the injury. Ultimately, Angie makes it out of the nightmare alive.
Does Tim’s Dad Find Him?
At the film’s beginning, we see Tim’s father being a family man who cares for his wife and son’s safety. As such, when Tim arrives at Bob’s house, he firmly believes his father will rescue him and tells his captor the same. However, as the years pass, his faith wavers until Bob delivers the final blow by sharing that his father has a new family now. However, the film’s end confirms a much grimmer reality.
As the plot progresses, we learn about Bob’s past in bits and pieces. When Bob was a teenager, his father lost his job, and the family had to rely on Bob and his brother for income. Bob’s father’s incompetence grates at his insecure masculinity, and he takes out his anger at his sons. Eventually, the abuse takes a much more sinister form when the father forces Bob to rape his own mother. The incident severely impacts Bob, who starts hating women considering them inherently promiscuous and deserving of death, to escape his own guilt.
Later, Bob’s brother distances himself from Bob and starts a fresh life with a new family. However, somewhere along the line, the brother starts resenting his life, yearning for an out, and contacts Bob to abduct his wife and kids. That man is Tim’s father, Brad Fittler. Tim learns about the same after finding a letter from Brad to Bob with a photograph of Tim and his mother attached.
Therefore, Brad doesn’t find Tim because he never looks for him. Instead, Tim arrives at Brad’s doorstep at the film’s end. Brad, living in a much more lavish house with his new family, acts pleased to see Tim. However, when Tim confronts Brad about his actions, Brad’s demeanor changes. Once Tim announces his intentions to report Brad to the authorities, Brad starts hitting Tim.
Consequently, Marie tries to stop Brad, but the man only diverts his violence toward her, continuing the cycle of abuse he inherits from his father and brother. Unable to watch Brad hit Marie, Tim interferes and hits Brad in the head with a crystal ornament, effectively killing him.
Does Tim/Rabbit Become a Killer?
Throughout the film, Tim’s adamant refusal to hurt another person, as Bob does, forms a significant aspect of his character. Even though the kid becomes a prisoner at nine, an incredibly impressionable age, he continues to hold on to his beliefs and morals. However, the situation becomes even more tense when Bob brings Angie to the house. Bob wants to mold Tim in his own image and have him take up Bob’s mantle as a serial killer in the future.
In order to achieve his goal, he tries to desensitize Tim by making games out of the IDs he collects from his victims and having Tim interact with the women’s corpses almost regularly. Nevertheless, Tim preserves his decency. As a result, Bob decides to force the kid, believing he will acquire a taste for violence once he delivers it. Still, Tim proves him wrong.
However, the film ends on an ominous note when Tim returns to Bob’s house, and the credits roll in with the noises of Tim living a life similar to Bob’s. Hence, the question arises: did Tim take up Bob’s bloodied mantle after all? Although the ending is up to the audience’s interpretation, the most probable answer seems to be that no, Tim did not become a killer like Bob.
Even though noises of Tim’s life akin to Bob’s in the house accompany the credits, one prominent noise is noticeably missing: the blood-curling screams of victims. Bob only ever kills two people, Bob and Brad, for the entirety of the film. Both times, Tim is only trying to save another person from the men’s violence. As such, Tim never kills to gain sick joy or as a power move. Instead, he only kills to protect others.
When Tim witnesses the horrors within Bob’s house, he doesn’t get desensitized to it like Bob wants. Instead, he develops a deep compassion for Bob’s victims because Tim himself is a victim too. Therefore, even though Tim returns to Bob’s house, he only does it because he has no other life to return to. Still, it’s safe to assume that Tim retains his virtue and never bends his morals to Bob’s.
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