Review: ’15 Cameras’

The Latest in the “Camera” Horror Series Tackles Voyeurism In A Clever Way

Let me start by saying I haven’t seen 13 Cameras or its sequel 14 Cameras before seeing the latest film in the horror series 15 Cameras. The horror-thriller series focuses on a creepy voyeuristic landlord who in addition to being obsessed with watching his tenants, he also likes to kidnap, imprison, and murder them. However, in the latest sequel 15 Cameras, writer PJ McCabe and director Danny Madden shift their focus to a young married couple that has purchased one of the houses of the famous “Slumlord,” and their own strange obsessions with him start to grow.

In 15 Cameras we are introduced to Sky (Angela Wong Carbone) and Cam (Will Madden), a young couple who have just moved into their new duplex. They are excited about this chapter in their lives in their new home. They got it surprisingly cheap… because it happened to be one of the “murder houses” owned by “The Slumlord” (James Babson) from the previous two films. As True Crime is now all the rave, both Sky and Cam endlessly watch a streaming show about the actual murders from the two films. While it’s weirdly fun for both of them to watch it, it has become a strange obsession for both of them, and from different angles.

One day Cam is working on the water heater in the house, and he notices a hidden door in the boiler closet, that leads to a basement that showcases live cameras throughout the house. To top it off, he and Sky just rented out part of their home to two young college women (Shirley Chen and Hanna McKechnie). Now while Cam and Sky’s marriage is fine, he starts to spend a great deal of his time “people watching” through the hidden camera system that The Slumlord left behind. Even so far after watching the coeds talk about needing a guy making the first move, he sends one of them a picture of his member and becomes obsessed with them. 15 Cameras has Cam start exhibiting some of the same behavior that The Slumlord has.

At the same time, Sky is starting to become extremely obsessed with the streaming show about The Slumlord. When her sister Carolyn (Hilty Bowen) moves in to escape her abusive partner, she hooks her into it and literally starts the show all the way from the beginning. It gets strange as she’s making popcorn to watch real-life footage of The Slumlord’s murders. Sky’s obsession feeds into paranoia as well as she suspects there are still cameras throughout the house, which Cam wants to keep a secret so he can keep spying on his wife, her sister, and their tenants. Even though the True Crime documentary they are watching says that The Slumlord is dead, a strange white van keeps driving past their home. As both Sky and Cam think it might be The Slumlord who probably faked his death, they both become scared that he may still be out there, and he may be coming after them.

As 15 Cameras comes to its conclusion, it has a choice to make. It could have had Cam become the new obsessive version of The Slumlord and perhaps be driven to murder just like he was, or the film could have The Slumlord return and continue his murderous rampage. I won’t spoil you too much about which direction it takes, but it should have probably taken the other one. However, one great aspect of 15 Cameras is that you actually don’t have to have to see the previous two films as this one works well as a standalone film on its own. The audience spends 90% of their time with this couple and it explores their own stranger voyeurism instead of the monster they are focused on, and that’s actually the more interesting story.

15 Cameras is currently available in select Los Angeles theaters and on VOD.