Body Cam, 2020.
Directed by Malik Vitthal.
Starring Mary J. Blige, Nat Wolff, Theo Rossi, Anika Noni Rose, David Warshofsky, Ian Casselberry, Demetrius Grosse,Lorrie Odom and Emonie Ellison.
When a regular routine traffic stop turns into the unexplained, unprovoked death of an unarmed youth by the hands of reckless police officers a cop named Renee (Mary J. Blige) realizes she’s the only one that can view the incident done by her colleagues.
All cop movies aren’t the same. While some focus on crime and the politics that goes on within the police force which usually involves a lot of court scenes and raids. But Body Cam is different and not just because it’s a horror flick but because it skips all the typical tropes that are seen in cop films. For some, cops are scary and they rarely get served justice, and to be honest, that’s what Body Cam presents to you at first which makes it a slow burn type of film. A slow burn, dark horror movie with a big payoff.
The movie starts off with the main character—a cop named Renee (played by Mary J. Blige) who is a dedicated and faithful cop who lives by the books. Renee is a respected officer in her department but has suffered a tragic loss in her own personal life. The tragic loss has deeply impacted Renee on a personal and professional level which leads to the department reassigning her to ease the load off of her until she’s ready to be back in the field with a clear head. Renee accepts it and continues to do her job despite that animosity she is starting to build up with some of her fellow police officers.
Renee, knowing her colleagues and superiors are keeping a close watch on her understand she can’t be confrontational or she can lose her job so every time her car is called with her partner, she opts to diffuse the situation as much as possible to avoid conflict. However, when she and her partner are patrolling an area they find themselves at odds with the locals who want them to leave. Renee diffuses the situation again but then something unexplainable starts to unfold.
Renee tries to explain the unexplainable to her fellow police officers and as per usual, her observations go ignored as they feel she is still dealing with her own trauma. Renee takes the initiative and follows her intuition and tries to understand why these unexplainable things are happening. Suddenly, police officers are turning up dead and nobody has any real solids answers.
As Renee fights to find the truth, she discovers some alarming news about her police department and tries to connect these supernatural events to her own colleagues. Things get more interesting when Renee finally realizes that there are things she can see that others can not.
There is a lot to like about this movie; the dark theme, the storytelling, the build-up of the action and the bloodshed. If you are someone who doesn’t typically like horror, you will find that Body Cam is digestible. Yes, it is a bit gory but it has a lot of realism impact to it which makes it suitable for non-horror fans alike. Mary J. Blige and Anika Noni Rose show us how mothers deal with tragedies with their families. Some families can move on and some will never forget. Seeing Blige in a horror film was a bit of a shock but her character Renee was so raw and vulnerable, yet strong, at times you feel like you wanted Renee to stop pursuing the case just for her own safety. The body cam angles are pretty accurate and it gives the viewer a first-hand experience on how Renee and other police officers scenes are recorded. As far as the score of the film, it is a bit forgettable but perhaps that is intentional. The darkness and color scheme of the film gives the impression of a mystery but soon the horror element appears.
If you are looking for an unsuspecting mix of mystery and horror you will be pleasantly surprised by Body Cam. If anything you will be pleased by the outcome because justice is finally served.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Erika Hardison nerds out about books, superheroes and old-school cartoons. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Fabulizemag.