A suffocating, claustrophobic thriller, ‘The Chamber’ is definitely a hidden gem that builds tension and dread in a way that feels natural and never forced. With little in the way of marketing, it’s a shame more people won’t have heard of this as it really is a solid, albeit slightly flawed film. With an okay script and some good characterisation, this 90 minute film zips along at a steady pace before hitting an absolute cracker of a climax.
As a quick warning, I have actually linked to the trailer of this but it is a bit spoilery. It does give away some of the major plot points but also gives you a good feel for what the film is like. If, like me, you want to see if the film is something you want to watch, view the first minute or so then turn it off, any further and it’ll spoil most of the film for you.
The story follows a Swedish submarine pilot, Mat (Johannes Kuknke) and three Special Op military personnel as they descend deep underwater in a tiny submarine off the coast of North Korea to find something classified. However, things go awry and the four find themselves trapped upside down at the bottom of the ocean as water slowly fills the cabin. With little time to get out, they have to try and work together to find a solution and get out before they die.
‘The Chamber’ is a really ambitious film and for the most part, it is handled well. The only gripe I had was around some of the dialogue choices. While I understand that the situation the characters find themselves in is highly stressful – this is the norm for Special Ops who specialise in these sort of high intensity situations – the level of profanities and physical fights and confrontations was a little unbelievable. Even more so when the female commander manages to single handedly take down the brute of the crew, who towers over her like a giant before she man handles him. I’m all for equality but the film does take it a little too far at times.
Having said all that, the film is good and if it wasn’t for the swearing and the character motivations, I’d rate it higher. ‘The Chamber’ is a solid thriller and well worth a watch. There’s some great scenes and clever camera work showing the different levels of water as it fills the cabin and although many won’t notice, it was still fascinating to watch as the water slowly filled more of the screen as the film continued.
Overall, ‘The Chamber’ is one of the bigger surprises this year. This 90 minute thriller is a solid film with just a few issues holding it back from being great. The characters and their interplay is what drives the film forward, even with the cursing that overpowers at times. The twisted idea of being stuck at the bottom of the ocean in a tiny box that’s slowly filling with water fills me with dread just thinking about it. It plays out on screen exactly as you’d expect although the ending for me was really well done and actually unexpected. Highly recommended.
Verdict - 7/10