The Chamber is a conventional deep sea horror thriller that offers more than enough thrills in a wild ride.
In his feature directorial debut, Ben Parker offers up a thrill ride that can also be categorized as a horror film because there’s no guarantee that that the four people in the submarine will survive the mission. The B-movie thriller shows a promising future for the filmmaker.
Following a brief prologue that sets up the film, a special ops team is sent on a mission to recover an item in the Yellow Sea. There’s no telling what this item is but going anywhere near the shores of North Korea isn’t the best of ideas. The team, led by Edwards (Charlotte Salt), takes over a research vessel as well as that ship’s submarine, The Aurora. Edwards is joined by the team’s muscle, Parks (James McArdle), and tech guy Denholm (Elliot Levey).
It may not sit well with the The Aurora‘s pilot, Mats (Johannes Bah Kuhnke). Mats knows the sub more than anyone and doesn’t take kindly to anyone messing up his ship. Edwards is a take-charge type of leader and she makes sure that things get done by giving up as little information as possible.
Taking over an aging submarine vessel is never a good idea and it’s something that will only lead to more problems. It’s a disaster that isn’t only waiting to happen but it’s one that manages to write itself. With four people contained inside such a small space, it’s enough to make any of them feel claustrophobic. Parks is the quickest to anger and is very much the wild card when things go from bad to worse. The biggest question is who in the crew will be the last survivors when the explosion leads them to take on water and fend for their lives.
After his breakout role a few years ago, it’s great to see that Swedish actor Johannes Bah Kuhnke has made a return to feature films as The Aurora‘s civilian submarine pilot, Mats. For a B-movie thriller that provides so much horror and drama, his performance elicits so much empathy. The real MVP of The Chamber, however, is Charlotte Salt. Her performance in the film rivals that of Kuhnke. Adding to the film is a score from James Dean Bradfield that complements the film’s mood with a claustrophobic feel.
Because it’s a disaster thriller set on a submarine, The Chamber is a film that may offer reminders of Black Sea (2015) given that there are similar events going on. The biggest major difference being The Aurora is a smaller vessel than Foxtrot-class submarine that was largely featured in Black Sea.
The Chamber could have been a melodramatic film but it’s a solid B-movie with scares and thrills once the action gets going.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Ben Parker
CAST: Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Charlotte Salt, James McArdle, and Elliot Levey
Cinedigm releases The Chamber in theaters, VOD, and Digital HD platforms on February 23, 2018.