“I don’t have to sell my soul / He’s already in me”. These are, of course, the opening to The Stone Roses’ classic ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, the song around which new Netflix show Chambers revolves. And, as the show progresses, the prescience of the lines becomes horrifyingly clear.
Created by Ohio writer Leah Rachel, the show stars Sivan Alyra Rose as Sasha, a teenager who suffers heart failure and wakes up to find that she has been given a heart transplant. Yet there are mysteries around the life of Becky LeFevre, the previous owner of the heart – and these become ever more complex as Sasha’s life becomes entwined with those of Becky’s wealthy, grief-stricken parents Ben and Nancy, played by Tony Goldwin and Uma Thurman.
This is a gnarly body horror, so of course Sasha finds she’s beginning to adopt some of Becky’s personality traits – that’s not even a spoiler, it’s just obvious to anyone who’s ever seen a horror film – and experiencing increasingly bizarre visions. At 10 hour-long episodes, the show does often feel overlong and certainly sags in the middle (there’s a compelling argument for the story being better suited to a taut 90-minute movie), but there’s actually a lot of fun to be had in its rambling narrative – if you hand yourself over to its oddball deviations.
A vision of Becky peeling her chest open as hundreds of mice spill out! A mysterious eyeball watching Sasha through a crack in the wall! A dubious subplot about Nancy’s phantom pregnancy! It’s all extremely weird, and that’s before we get to the strange power of The Stone Roses’ ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, which, it turns out, Becky was listening to when she died in a freak accident. Or was it really an accident..?
‘I Wanna Be Adored’ crops up throughout Chambers – Sasha hears it blaring from a car radio, even though the radio’s turned off, and something unusual happens when she plays it at Becky’s mates’ party. In fact, the show’s entire soundtrack is filled with alternative classics – The Smiths’ ‘Still Ill’ accompanies a moody drive in the first episode, while Deftones’ ‘Pink Maggot’ sets the eerie tone for a pivotal scene during the jaw-dropping finale.
Along the way, we hear Rihanna (‘Love On The Brain’), Blood Orange (‘Bad Girls’), Aretha Franklin (‘Something He Can Feel’) and Danish punks Iceage (‘Forever’). There’s also a Rasmus track, but don’t let that put you off. The best soundtrack on Netflix? A bold claim – but we adore it.