“BODY Cam” was released digitally by Paramount Pictures. It starts one rainy night in Los Angeles when a policeman asks a van with no plates to stop. A black woman gets off the van and then there’s a strong supernatural force that sends the cop flying through the air and being slammed to his death.
A female cop, Renee (Mary J. Blige, Oscar best supporting actress nominee for “Mudbound”) and her partner, Danny (Nat Wolff), come to investigate. Renee is still reeling from the trauma of her only son dying from drowning. Her being a woman and a black could have added a dimension of social documentary to the film, but it’s sadly left unexplored.
As she continues to investigate, she learns that the van has been lent to a woman, Taneesha Branz (Anika Noni Rose), by their church pastor. She was the mysterious woman who confronted the cop who was thrown away by a strange force. It turns out that her only son, a deaf teenager, was deliberately killed by some L.A. cops due to a case of mistaken identity. Then they covered up their crime, so it’s the spirit of this dead boy who is now taking revenge on the corrupt cops.
The director, Malik Vitthal, should be told of our constant reminder to all horror filmmakers: make the victims sympathetic for the viewers to side with them and get really scared. In this case, right away, we don’t really care what the ghost will do to those evil cops since they deserve to die anyway.
Mary J. Blige has a thankless role here as she is asked to do nothing but walk through some very dark rooms and hallways with her flashlight on hand. But sorry to say that tension is not really created, boredom is. This is just a movie about another “naghihiganting multo” and we have had enough of that! Well, we told you, it’s hard to make a horror movie that really works.