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Dark Chamber (2006)

DVD Cover (Shock-O-Rama Cinema)
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5.6
 / 10
3 votes
Genres:
Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Thriller
Director:
Dave Campfield Dave Campfield
Starring:
Eric Conley Eric Conley
Felissa Rose Felissa Rose
Mark Love Mark Love
Dave Campfield Dave Campfield
Brenda Abbandandolo Brenda Abbandandolo
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Review by Chad
Added: August 23, 2005
In this horror-thriller from first-time director Dave Campfield, we find young Justin Besler (Eric Conley) moving in with his father Kurt (David Rigg) after getting fed up with supporting his mother Norma (Desiree Gould). Kurt, it turns out, has renovated his home to allow for three apartments which are occupied by three very different sets of people. It also turns out that Kurt is a very unsympathetic police detective, and Justin finds out that he's recently been investigating a murderous cult known as The Black Circle. This ties in with Justin's newfound home-life when he meets a young lady named Kayla (Alexandra Eitel). The meeting and eventual greetings start out normally enough, but after a particular night out with her, Kayla turns into a different person; she harasses Justin over the phone, threatens him, and even shows up outside of his house one evening. Things get even more bizarre when she turns up dead outside of his house. Justin believes that she was murdered by someone inside of the house; after all, he had heard a good deal of banging and screaming from inside the house just prior to discovering Kayla's body. With the help of friends Scott (Fred DeReau) and Rick (director Dave Campfield), Justin installs a set of surveillance cameras inside each apartment; this way, they can see what these people are up to and who, if anyone, is responsible for the murder. What they find out is that everyone has something to hide...

Last week, I received an email from the director of this movie, who claimed that this was his debut film and offered to send me a copy for review purposes before it makes the festival rounds. I checked out the official site, downloaded the trailer, and thought it looked pretty damned good; however, I did have my doubts. Storyline-centered thrillers that put a smile on my face are few and far between; so what's the chances of some first-time director / writer with an insanely low budget putting out something that would get more than an "eh, it was alright" response out of yours truly? Well, after watching the movie, I had to do some double-checking online - this does not seem like a rookie offering, nor does it seem like a low-budget film. This movie has the feel of a Hitchcock film; the important characters are fully developed, there's a sense that anyone could be responsible, and the final twist seems like something Alfred himself would have come up with. If you search through every review on this site that has been posted under my name, you will see that I have never once compared a movie to Hitchcock's work; it's not because I'm not familiar with his films, but because it's incredibly rare for something to come along that reminds me of him. Hitchcock was a genius behind the camera, and Campfield's style of movie-making reminds me of his without ever coming off as a rip-off.

The storyline is the main focus of the movie. There's no gore, there's no action sequences, and no (onscreen) sex... every piece of this ninety-minute movie is revealed through dialog between the characters. Therefore, the movie requires a damned good script to keep the audience riveted to the screen, and again, the movie delivers. The storyline is well thought out, the events are logical and realistic (with the exception of one minor segment), and everything just flows along nicely. There is no type of filler or padding here - once the movie starts, it's one gripping piece of the puzzle after another, and each event keeps you guessing and anticipating the next scene so that you can find out just what in the hell is going on.

According to IMDb, the two main actors (Eric Conley and David Rigg) made their film debuts in this movie (though I would have sworn that I've seen David Rigg somewhere before). The rest of the main cast have had a few roles in other movies, but nothing terribly impressive. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when each of these cast members put out 110% effort in their scenes, and when each person seemed completely natural in their roles. There's none of the dreaded "reading from cue cards" performances, there's no "I'm going to get an Oscar" style of overacting, and there's no "where's my check?" people rounding out the cast. Each person seems completely natural and relaxed in their role, and the result is a movie that seems completely realistic and works out leagues better than it could have. And how could I finish this section of the review without mentioning that the incredibly talented, incredibly hot Felissa Rose (star of Sleepaway Camp for the uninitiated) has a pretty big part in the movie?

This is definitely a movie to look forward to. It's about to get some love at various festivals, and while it doesn't have any distribution deals in place, I don't see it having any problems in that regard once it gets some attention. Add this movie to your to-see list, check it out once it hits theaters / DVD, and thank me for it later. Fans of suspense thrillers with an added touch of horror will not regret picking this one up. 9/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 06/21/2011, 03:43 PM
Sure got a "eh, it was alright" reaction from me. Nothing to see here.
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