character study, based on a more traditional thriller-type treatment of the same story by Damian O'Donnell. Vincent D'Onofrio is frighteningly effective as a cab driver who abducts young women to rape and murder. His abduction of one woman (Julia Ormond) brings with it the baggage of a nine-year-old son, whom he subsequently raises as his own. The boy is told in no uncertain terms that he must serve and clean up after him (eg., his crimes) or face the consequences. When the boy, renamed Rabbit, reaches maturity (as Eamon Farren), his captor begins to face the challenges faced by any parent: how to get the kid an education, whether or not to trust him with the keys to the car, dates, and so on. What makes the film at all bearable is that it's about parenting, bad parenting, and D'Onofrio's character -- slumped in his easy chair with a beer in front of the ballgame, barking orders -- reminds us of various fathers we have known or met in our own lives, as Lynch's sardonic sensibilities guide Rabbit through various inventive perversions of the usual teenage rites of passage, including a fairly horrifying prom date. Up until the coda scene, this is as suspenseful and witty a character study as I've seen; unfortunately, the conclusion is a step too far, demanding that we process too much new information and tries to encase the preceding story inside another, larger one, without success. Still very much worth seeing.
Viewed in a theater, but available on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment and via Amazon Instant Video.