Review: Chambers is An Inspired Thriller that Goes Off the Rails

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Chambers is a brand new horror series heading to Netflix, and while it has a surprisingly strong start, it tails off significantly by the conclusion. 

A Mother and Father

The main issue plaguing the show from the get-go is that it spends too much time focusing on the less intriguing storylines, before going downright bananas in the final batch of episodes. 

Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn are the most well-known in a cast of mostly newcomers in a tale about a teenager who receives a new heart and starts to take on characteristics of the person who died and gave up the heart.

Related: Marcus LaVoi on Chambers, Sivan Alyra Rose, Native American Representation & More

Goldwyn and Thurman play husband and wife Nancy and Ben Lefevre. They are consumed with grief after the sudden death of their daughter, Becky.

Without taking too much time to think about her passing, they have an immense decision to make: Do they give their daughter's heart to someone else who needs it?

Sasha Searches for Answers

Both Thurman and Goldwyn are seasoned veterans, and they can pull off emotion very well.

The dynamics between the husband and wife are very different from what we've seen before in TV couples who lose a child.

Instead of splitting up and fighting about things that do not matter, they try to rebuild their lives. While doing that, however, they seem to be a little too infatuated with the girl who was the recipient of Becky's heart, Sasha.

Despite this, the husband and wife dynamics are a breath of fresh air. Even when everything around them is crumbling, they try to lean on each other. 

The show has a unique concept for sure. Sasha is from the other side of the tracks and lives with her uncle Frank who cannot provide her the lifestyle the Lefevers think she deserves.

What's Happening to Me?!

The big mystery of the series unfolds through the eyes of Sasha. Sivan Alyra Rose turns in a convincing role as the teenager who starts to notice there's something amiss with the family and the heart she has been provided.

Sasha is driven by her determination to find out more about how Becky died, but she has good reasons for traveling that route. Nothing is adding up about what she hears about the death. 

Not helping matters is that she finds herself attending the prestigious school Becky attended, and she finds herself living a life that she never thought she would. It's all thanks to the Lefevers. 

She's among some of the smartest teenagers and is even gifted with Becky's car. At some points, it feels like the Lefevre family are trying to groom Sasha into being Becky. 

Is Becky Back from the Dead?

The early episodes are solid and spin a web of stories that should have carried us through to the finale. It's just unfortunate the series falls off the tracks along the way. 

It goes from a promising series to a predictable one that lacks direction, and it's a real shame.

It's challenging to sustain a mystery throughout a full season, and the fact that it falls apart in the second half makes me think the issue could be the length of the series.

Related: Jonny Rios Shares His Excitement Over His Netflix Series Chambers

When I first heard about the series, I thought it would have worked well as an anthology, with a different cast of characters and transplant every season, but it seems like we're in for the second part of the story that kicked off during the first season. 

With ten episodes, some of the characters should have been fleshed out more than they were. Instead, it was all about the Lefevers and Sasha. 

There are a string of supporting players that should have been given more screen time, and some more exposition about the twist ending could really have made the journey more worth it.  

Sasha and Yvonne

In particular, Sasha's best friend, Yvonne, doesn't get much to do aside from being around for Sasha when she needs her the most. 

Yvonne is a smart girl who is struggling to keep her own family together, and there's a great storyline thrown in there with her mother that feels brushed under the rug a little too quickly. 

At several points in the second half of the season, the show runs on fumes as it moves from one extreme to the next. 

Frank's role diminishes significantly by the time we get to the final episodes. As one of the early frontrunners, it's somewhat problematic. 

Frank will move mountains to make sure Sasha is safe, and there's a great moment for him when he realizes that he's losing her. 

Big Frank Yazzie

The acting is the strongest aspect of the series. There was not one wooden performance throughout.

If you're looking for a well-acted series, then look no further than Chambers. But if you're looking for that in addition to a cleverly plotted storyline, then you should look elsewhere.

In all honesty, the story of Chambers could have been told as a 90-minute movie with ease, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more. 

Okay, TV Fanatics. 

Do you plan to check this series out?

Hit the comments below. 

Chambers launches April 26 on Netflix. 

Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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