The horror genre has very few places to go, either back to basics or stride forward with technology. This time, the horror comes at us from too angles, the known and unknown and it is all too familiar and very close to home.
When one of their fellow police officers is killed in an unusual and horrific way, Officer Renee Lomito-Smith (Mary J Blige) and her new rookie partner delve deeper into the incident and find some disturbing evidence involving a cover up of police actions.
The line between cinematic and theatrical horror involving supernatural entities can be terrifying in itself but when it’s there to mask the real horror that we would hear about in the news or even worse, witness is far more terrifying. The everyday horror that you would be shocked by and believe it at the same time is unsettling which is what Body Cam evokes, especially with what is happening in the news currently. The notion that there is going to be something eerie appearing on the body cam of the police officers leads up to the actual horror and the title becomes more relevant than ‘just another found-footage horror film’.
Stepping away from the politically charged message, this story is about a grieving mother trying to do her best in her job but becomes rattled by a disturbing case. The script is not the most electrifying, especially its dialogue, but Mary J Blige does her best with the material given to her. Other characters, including Nat Wolfe as her rookie partner, aren’t fleshed out as much. Reduced and deduced to stereotypical characteristics and given little more than a few lines and scenes of explanation. Even the suspected antagonist throughout isn’t given much explanation, only finding out about her through clues. A few more scenes with Anika Noni Rose with context would have been more beneficial for the story. The ‘traditional’ aspects of horror that occurs is strange and twisted, keeping us hooked on the investigation, guessing if this is all supernatural or has an edge of hard truth to it. Trying to include several topics; the loss of a child, grief, police brutality, supernatural elements and everyday horrors is a challenge throughout the film.
Dir: Malik Vitthal
Prd: Matt Kaplan
Scr: Nicholas McCarthy, Richmond RiedelStory by: Richmond Riedel
Cast: Mary J Blige, Nat Wolfe, David Zayas, David Warshofsky, Demetrius Grosse, Anika Noni Rose
DoP: Pedro Luque
Music: Joseph Bishara
Run time: 96 mins
Body Cam is available on digital platforms now