Friday, 10 March 2017

The Chamber (2016)

Ben Parker’s THE CHAMBER, which premiered at last year’s London Frightfest, gets a UK Digital Download, DVD & Blu-ray release through Studio Canal.

In the Yellow Sea, close to North Korean waters, a research vessel is commandeered by a Special Ops unit. The three person team, led by Commander Edwards (Charlotte Salt) needs Mats (Johannes Kuhnke) to take them down in his creaky old little submarine so they can find something ‘of great importance’ on the sea bed. 

This particular exploratory voyage involves crossing into North Korean territory and soon the research boat has been boarded and all communication between it and the submarine has been cut off. The Special Ops team find what they’re looking for, but it leads to disaster as the submarine ends up wedged in a trench one hundred metres down. With air running out and tempers fraying, it becomes increasingly unlikely that any of them are going to get out alive.

One of the producers of THE CHAMBER is Jennifer Handorf, who has been a guiding hand in some of the best British horror films of recent years, including THE BORDERLANDS aka FINAL PRAYER, Sean Hogan’s THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS, and Oliver Frampton’s THE FORGOTTEN. THE CHAMBER isn’t quite as top notch as those three films but it’s still pretty good. Most of the action takes place in the cramped, wet, claustrophobic surroundings of the submarine, and writer-director Ben Parker manages a good job of ratcheting up the tension over the film’s second and third acts. The music is by James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers fame and it’s very effective, going mainly for an avant garde, scraping, pounding sound design that adds to the cloying atmosphere.
             Studio Canal’s disc comes with a feature commentary by Ben Parker and two sound options - I’d suggest you go for the 5.1 as it does add to the experience. There’s also a little making of featurette. 

Ben Parker's THE CHAMBER is out on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download from Studio Canal on Monday 20th March 2017

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