Chamber (2016) Review

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Written and directed by first time feature maker Ben Parker, Chamber is a claustrophobic thriller set in one of the smallest and most dangerous spaces imaginable, aboard a small submersible craft deep in the middle of the ocean.

Piloted by Matz (Johannes Kuhnke) the sub is forced into a secretive mission when a team of US special service divers lead by Edwards (Charlotte Salt) arrive and demand to be taken to the bottom of the Yellow Sea off the coast of North Korea to seek out an unidentified object.

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Starting out totally on the wrong foot Matz butts heads with the trio of elusive Army officers who disregard his expertise and in-depth knowledge of the ancient vehicle they are cooped up in clashing several times not only over who is in charge but what the purpose of their dive is.5

When they lose contact with their ship Matz realises there is something far more dangerous going on around him but that is only the beginning of the journey deep into an underwater hell where they must all struggle for survival until their last breath or face a watery grave.

Although containing a predictable plot line and script containing some quite clichéd characters and moments the cast do the best they can with Johannes Kuhnke especially likable as an everyman trapped in a seemingly unwinnable situation by a twist of fate and little else.

With the majority of the film aboard the submarine with very few effects and lots of dialogue Chamber could have been a very stagy and static story however what saves the movie is the excellent direction. Ben Parker makes far more from his set up and low budget than many other directors would have been able to turning out an intense and interesting drama inside the tiny tin can that is truly gripping at times.

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The tight space, close quarters and conflicting characters makes for an extremely tense and intense atmosphere and the film amps up the pressure literally and figuratively the further forward it goes until everyone is at boiling point exploding into its dramatic and fatalistic finale which will probably split the audience once the titles start to run.

Not exactly my idea of a FrightFest film being that it was more a thriller than anything else I have to say I was thoroughly entertained by Chamber and impressed by Ben Parker who is most definitely a director to watch in the future.

Movie Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

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