Its 4:45 pm
Buying a movie blind is one of the best parts of doing these film reviews. While the cheetah and I do get a few movies generously sent to us and my friends Lon and Pam have each sent us a box of goodies,the vast majority of what I review here comes from buying a film and hoping it turns out to be a kick ass movie.
With that in mind,I ventured to the Family Video to get some BluRays cleaned that I had bought from them earlier and while I was waiting,I walked the store. “White Chamber” caught my eye and I took a closer look….it was from a fine indie horror company called “Dark Sky Films” of which I have yet to do a review of any of their releases. But then I saw it starred Oded Fehr from “The Mummy” films as well as the “Resident Evil” films and that was a major plus. It also starred Shuana MacDonald who in the classic horror film “The Descent”,two names that sold me of taking a chance…..will “White Chamber” pay off??
The film opens and shows a slightly in the future United Kingdom is being being torn apart by a civil war. Stock footage of past riots and looting drive in the point that the country is being torn apart and that the Citizen General Zarkian is leading the revolt against the Crown and doing better then expected.
Then we meet Ruth (MacDonald) who wakes up in a all white chamber. She has a nasty bump on her head and doesn’t know how long she been knocked out. A disguised voice then starts to ask her questions,like who she is and what does she do for a living. Ruth says she is a Ad Girl (secratary) but the voice doesn’t believe her and he begins to subject her to some horrific torture.
Ruth demands to know who she is speaking to and when voice comes back,Ruth sees its General Zarkian (Fehr). Ruth and Zarkian debate the war,the causes behind it and the people affected. When Ruth hears Zarkian cough,she tries to connect with him to no avail. Zarkian ups the ante by forcing Ruth to fight to the death with another prisoner and Ruths begs for the torture to stop,that she has nothing left.
Then the screen fades out and we go back five days and everything we have seen in the first 15 minutes goes out the window. That old saying”In order to beat monsters,one must monsters of our own” comes light as writer/director Paul Raschid pulls no punches in showing how there is truly no glory in any war,much less a civil one.
Its hard lesson to grasp as most Americans fail to grasp that simple concept. The price for “peace” is ever easy and sooner then later,we all pay for it. One way or another….
“White Chamber” is a very dark,bleak and brillant film and we didn’t as much “like” it in the traditional sense,we respected the message that Raschid and his fine cast told. Its not a easy film to watch,there are a couple of scenes that will haunt you in your dreams. But the torture scenes while harsh,are an important part of the story.
The cast,led by a powerhouse performance by Fehr is really good. This is the first time I have seen MacDonald in a movie and her performance is also excellent and more then a little disturbing (but in a good way). I really thought Amrita Acharia as the sole voice of humanity as was moving but I was left perplexed as one would have thought that the government would have made sure she was more mentally up for the challenge as a chemical scientist.
The biggest surprise was seeing Sharon Maughan,I hadn’t seen her since she did a series of coffee commericals in the late 80s-early 90s with Anthony Head who did “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as Rupert.
Well,Sharon looks fantastic (she is 70 years old but looks maybe 45-50ish) and she too,really shined as Sandra,who has no trouble with what they are doing within the white chamber but faced with violence right in front her,suddenly has second thoughts.
The script is smart and thought provoking and despite being low budget,Raschid gets a stellar production design by Lucy Gahagan and a very good score by composer John Harle.
“White Chamber” has a run time of 89 minutes and should be considered a rated “R” film. The only special feature is the film’s trailer.
The cheetah and I both give “White Chamber” a big paw/thumb straight up.
Feel free to drop a comment below!