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Review: ‘14 Cameras’ provides a second underwhelming dose of voyeurism

Review: ‘14 Cameras’ provides a second underwhelming dose of voyeurism
Neville Archambault in the movie "14 Cameras." (Gravitas Ventures)

Writer-director Victor Zarcoff’s 2016 film “13 Cameras” was an undercooked thriller, with a few narrative kinks, relating how a disgusting voyeur named Gerald (played by Neville Archambault) uncovered devastating secrets about the young couple he was spying on, even though his interest in their lives was purely prurient.

The sequel, “14 Cameras” (written by Zarcoff and co-directed by Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion), adds more characters but loses the original’s few thin layers of thematic depth, resulting in a tedious exploitation picture not even sleazy enough to find offensive.

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This time out, the creepy Gerald has upped his game. While he’s monitoring (and streaming to paying subscribers) a vacation property occupied by a family of four and their curvy teenage houseguest, he’s also keeping multiple women imprisoned in soundproof bunkers.

Gerald’s character hasn’t evolved much since “13 Cameras.” He’s still slack-jawed and monosyllabic, even in the few glimpses we get of his home life. In the sequel, though, it does become clearer that Gerald’s surveillance hobby is partly sexual perversion and partly a way to make extra money from his real estate holdings.

As with “13 Cameras,” the people this villain torments aren’t all that compelling. His prisoners are generic damsels in distress. The family he’s watching never says or does anything memorable.

The premise of Zarcoff’s franchise-in-the-making remains horrifying. These movies have yet to do much with it.

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‘14 Cameras’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills

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