Netflix’s ‘Chambers’ Is a Body-Horror Disasterpiece
There isn’t a single inventive scare lurking in Chambers, a 10-episode Netflix original that seems like it was devised by the streaming service’s famed algorithm.
Embellishing a 13 Reasons Why template with stock supernatural insanity, Leah Rachel’s series (premiering April 26) concerns the twisty-turny investigation into the death of Becky Lefevre (Lilliya Scarlett Reid), a well-to-do blonde Arizona teenager who perished in a mysterious accident. The cause of Becky’s untimely demise is potentially related to a cast of shady characters, both young and old. Yet the twist isn’t that Becky was offed under shadowy circumstances—it’s that the sleuth leading the inquiry is Sasha (Sivan Alyra Rose), the organ-transplant recipient of Becky’s heart.
Sasha, a Native American girl who’s been denied a relationship with her heritage by her long-haired, heavily tattooed uncle Frank (Marcus LaVoi), is driven to learn more about Becky not only because she’s grateful for her ticker, but because she can “feel” Becky inside her. If that sounds eerily reminiscent of Body Parts, the 1991 thriller in which Jeff Fahey gradually loses control of his transplanted arm (which belonged to a serial killer!), that’s because it is—except here, the conceit is drawn out to absurd lengths, such that it won’t take audiences nearly as long as Sasha to figure out what, precisely, is going on. That calamitous situation is compounded by the jumbled nature of the plot itself, which shoves issues of grief, guilt, addiction, identity, ethnicity, religion and social/economic divides into a proverbial creative blender. No matter the participation of Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn, the resultant mixture is a sloppy mess.