Movie Review: CAMERA OBSCURA (2017)

With having this film on my radar for a while, I was more than eager to finally check out CAMERA OBSCURA, and what it really had to offer. I honestly knew little of the plot going into this film, which, to me, makes it that much more exciting to delve into. I can also say that I was pleasantly surprised with the path it took, and the numerous topics it touched base on.

Director Aaron B. Koontz’s new psychological thriller CAMERA OBSCURA seems to bend realities while maintaining classic (and graphic) horror undertones. Veteran war photographer Jack Zellers (Christopher Denham) receives an ancient camera as a gift from his wife Claire (Nadja Bobyleva) in hopes to get him back into the working world of photography. Once getting his rolls of film developed, Jack notices the sudden appearance of blatant dead bodies in certain photographs. With his sanity already teetering due to PTSD, Jack gets thrown headfirst into unstable and violent situations, which question his mental stability, motives, and endgame in these gruesome scenarios unfolding before him.

I’m always one for never revealing too much in regards to the plot (where’s the fun in that?), and this film is one that will keep you guessing around every corner. With its unpredictability, unique storyline, great cast, and hauntingly synthetic score (created by the talented Steve Moore), I’d say that CAMERA OBSCURA has more than a few elements that make up a good genre film. You can also throw Koontz’s professional use of filmmaking techniques onto that pile, which can sometimes be rare in the independent department. This movie showcases solid camera work and intense shots for dramatic sequences, employing different techniques where deemed appropriate without being over or underused.

CAMERA OBSCURA‘s intriguing ability to channel homicidal behavior in conjunction with mental illness (and even supernatural forces) meshes well to become the blurred sense of reality that is presented before you. It will keep you questioning many things from start to finish, while hosting some great performances from the lead roles, along with recognizable actors such as Chase Williamson, Catherine Curtin, and Noah Segan. I highly recommend seeing CAMERA OBSCURA, as it stands on its own through distinct originality and sets itself apart from other films being released this year.

CAMERA OBSCURA is available on VOD and Digital HD and is in select theaters.

Abigail Braman
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