In his feature film directorial debut Ben Parker highlights his skills as a powerful story teller. The Chamber which Parker also wrote is set in a small submarine which is overtaken by the US government to conduct a secret mission. Parker surrounded himself with a good cast headlined by Swedish actor Johannes Bah Kuhnke as Mats. Mats is told to drive the sub with three US operatives inside North Korean borders and his reluctance added with the naïve/innocent nature of his character is what holds the film together; unfortunately there isn’t much to hold on to. Parker’s story has promise in the beginning but as it goes on just feels flat and unimaginative.
As I noted earlier this film does show Parker’s abilities as a solid director. The film takes place in such a small, confined space it never felt like a stale or repetitive surrounding. Parker sustains fresh, intense angles so that the momentum is always on go. Although each performance does deliver they seem to fall into genre stereotypes which is a shame. The tension built throughout adds to the feeling of claustrophobia which is to Parker’s credit. The pieces are there for Parker but unfortunately this time around they did not come together.
I will not spoil the film but will admit there were a few shocking moments but at the same rate I couldn’t help but tilt my head and say “really?!?” to others. I would consider this binge worthy movie or something to pass the time. The Chamber has some satisfying moments but in the end does not leave much for the viewer to hold onto once the credits start to roll.
2.5 out of 5
Theatrical Release & Available via On Demand Friday 2/23/18