For many decades the Germans were the evil guys. Then came the deceitful and sneaky Russians, which always had a trick up their sleeve. But now we live in a fair less polarised world, and these countries are not as feared as they used to be. So what do you do if you want to make a thriller in a dangerous and forbidden location run by a maniacal and unpredictable government? Well, try North Korea! No one would want to be trapped in their land. Or even worse, in the dark depths of their seas. Get ready for a 80-minute deeply claustrophobic experience in a horrific place.
Swedish submarine pilot Mats (Johannes Kuhnke) is ordered to descend to the bottom of North Korean Yellow Sea with American covert ops specialist Red (Charlotte Salt) and two crew (Elliot Levey, James McArdle). Unbeknown to Mats, Red intends to set off a bomb in order to destroy an unmanned aircraft resting on the sea bed. He resists the bossy and manipulative woman because their very own hulk may not resist the explosion. Fear and egos begin to battle, and soon violence prevails amongst the four desperate people.
The submarine is ironically named Aurora (Latin for “dawn”). It seems increasingly that the craft will ever surface again. Likewise, it nevers dawns on Red that her mission is dangerous and foolish, and will almost in inevitably culminate in the deaths of everyone on board.
The Chamber is a film to be watched at the cinema, where you too will feel trapped in a dark and confined space. The sounds are very important here: the constant humming, thudding, eerie screeching, fiddling and sudden klaxons will help to create a sense of fear, anguish and helplessness that will envelope audiences. Interestingly, the North Koreans are never part of the movie. The enemy here is inside the very chamber in which the characters are confined. And it’s not a slimy alien creature, either. These four people instead have to battle each other, while juggling their precarious survival instincts. There’s plenty of drama, bleeding and cracking bones to keep you hooked, while the water leaks inside the submarine and tempers begin to fray and flare up.
Of course this is not the first submarine movie to be made, and the idea of being trapped underwater was the subject of films such as the British-American blockbuster Black Sea (Kevin MacDonald, 2015) and the spionage classic The Hunt for Red October (John McTiernan, 1990). What’s interesting here is that virtually all the action takes place inside the confined space, and that the exotic enemy is nowhere to be seen. Made on a low-budget, The Chamber will give you some good thrills, and it’s a convincing piece for a debuting helmer – who’s more than likely to snatch future gigs.
The Chamber is out in cinemas on Friday March 10th.