The addition of a camera adds little to the sequel to Victor Zarcoff’s 2015 horror film 13 Cameras, a follow-up for which no one was clamoring. Continuing to chronicle the voyeuristic misdeeds of the villainous Gerald (Neville Archambault), 14 Cameras is another pointless exercise that equates sliminess with terror. The film is creepy, all right, but not in a way that proves remotely edifying. It begins with an onscreen graphic about the terrors of the “global wireless spy camera market,” so you can at least consider yourself warned.
Gerald, whose evilness is made manifestly evident by his wearing unfashionable wire-rimmed eyeglasses, has upped his demented game for this installment. He’s keeping two comely young women prisoner in an underground bunker. And he’s rented a vacation home in the New Mexico desert to a family that has no idea that he’s outfitted the house with cameras so he can view their every move. The clan made the mistake of believing that the photo of the smiling woman in the online real-estate ad was legitimate. (Who says that we can’t learn things from bad movies?) Gerald also seems to have a protege in the form of a young boy who’s not only following in his mentor’s voyeuristic footsteps but seems to have adopted his poor fashion sense as well.
Voyeurism has never been so boring.
Voyeurism has long been a staple of horror films, as evidenced by such classics as Psycho and Peeping Tom. Unfortunately, this film scripted by Zarcoff and co-directed by Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion doesn’t begin to approach the level of those movies. It also makes the mistake of referencing another far superior horror movie by having one character complain, “The Overlook Hotel had more things to do.”
Needless to say, two of the house’s temporary tenants, teenage Molly (Brytnee Ratledge) and her best friend, Danielle (Legion‘s Amber Midthunder), spend an inordinate amount of their time walking around in skimpy bathing suits and getting undressed in front of two-way mirrors. As is so often the case with this sort of lurid thriller, the net effect is to make viewers as complicit in the voyeurism as the screen villain, an aspect unlikely to put off the film’s target audience of young males.
Of course, Gerald does more than just watch. He also sneaks into the house when it’s unoccupied and indulges in such antics as sniffing the girls’ underwear. He’s also frequently in communication with his many customers on the dark web, one of whom offers the princely sum of $5,000 for a sample.
Archambault, who spends nearly the entire film with his mouth gaping open like a beached fish, is suitably repellant without being particularly interesting as the obsessed villain. The rest of the performers go through their formulaic paces in uninvolving fashion, with the result that we never come to sympathize with their characters’ egregious loss of privacy. The film’s ending unfortunately suggests the likelihood that we’ll be subjected to yet another sequel, presumably to be titled 15 Cameras.
Production: 30 Bones Cinema, Hood River Entertainment
Distributor: Gravitas Ventures
Cast: Amber Midthunder, Neville Archambault, Brianne Moncrief, Tait Fletcher, Chelsea Edmundson
Directors/producers: Seth Fuller, Scott Hussion
Screenwriter: Victor Zarcoff
Producers: Seth Fuller, Scott Hussion
Executive producers: Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus, Jordan Rudman, Andrew van den Houten
Director of photography: Seth Fuller
Production designer: Kendra Tuthill
Composer: Paul Koch
Casting: Angelique Midthunder