Netflix’s new release, White Chamber* is a Sci-Fi Horror made and set in the United Kingdom. Being a sucker for Sci-Fi and a hound for Horror, I decided to give this one a go without having heard anything about it.
The setup is thus: During a future civil war in the UK, A woman wakes up in a futuristic cell** and, claiming to know nothing, is subjected to torment and torture by a faceless person who is disguising their voice. The plot thickens*** when the film jumps back to 5 days previous and we learn that all was not as it first appeared.
White Chamber wants to be a relevant social commentary on Brexit, but also asks the question of whether ends truly justify means, such as in the case of torture to bring an end to a war. Oh and there’s a point about how war dehumanises both sides. The problem is that these points are not found in the subtext but rather shouted through the dialogue.
To be clear, the film is not remotely ‘torture porn’****. It’s also not remotely good. It is grating, insistent and instantly forgettable.
**By which I mean a white cell. Yes it’s one of those films which buys into the idea that technology and clothing in the future will be very white. This may be symbolic of a sterile, dehumanising environment or it may simply be low-budget shorthand for “this is sci-fi”.
***Going back in time to ‘thicken’ a plot is like using cornstarch to thicken gravy and is a form of cheating.
****A pejorative and hurtful term used to lump Lars Von Trier and the New French Extremity in with Eli Roth. Some of my best friends are torture porn.