THE CHAMBER **** U.K. 2016 Dir: Ben Parker. 88 mins
An intense feature debut from Ben Parker, in which veteran Captain Johannes Kuhnke leads his ageing submarine “The Aurora” on a secretive retrieval mission at the bottom of the Yellow Sea. As the nature of their mission becomes clear, a misguided detonation damages the sub, spins it upside down, trapping the crew in a grim situation where rescue will be 36 hours at best, communications are down and their top ship may well have already been boarded by hostile North Koreans.
This claustrophobic exercise in submarine crisis cinema owes an obvious debt to Tony Scott’s CRIMSON TIDE, but triumphs as an economical, sometimes sweat-inducing thriller in its own right. The escalating perils are impressively executed, the final act is particularly taut and most of the cast rise to the challenge of the restricted backdrop. Evocative, suitably tense score by Manic Street Preachers guitarist / vocalist James Dean Bradfield.
Review by Steven West