WRETCHED REVIEWS: THE CORRIDOR
Starring Stephen Chambers, James Gilbert and David Patrick Flemming
Directed by Evan Kelly
Written by Josh MacDonald
Horror and sci-fi intersect in interesting if odd ways in The Corridor, an independent Canadian thriller low in budget but high in concept.
Stephen Chambers (Casino Jack) stars as Tyler, a young man who has gathered his childhood friends at his late mother’s isolated cottage to scatter her ashes and have a boy’s reunion weekend. Complicating matters, though, is the fact that Tyler, who lived in his mom’s basement, is just out of a mental hospital, having possibly contributed to his mother’s death. The friends had discovered her body before Tyler attacked them with a knife.
All seems to be forgiven, though, and Tyler, now on his meds, seems relatively stable. But when he discovers a wall of energy out in the woods, he has to wonder: is he hallucinating? What is this corridor-shaped entity? His friends are suspicious of Tyler’s sanity, but they soon discover it for themselves. But the strange force has unexpected consequences, including driving them insane, leading to a climactic orgy of bloodshed and truth-telling that strains their friendships and might cost them their lives.
If that plot description sounds a little WTF-ish, well, The Corridor is a hard movie to describe and, ultimately, wrap one’s head around. Screenwriter Josh MacDonald has crafted a confusing mish-mash of science fiction, horror and drama that has moments of brilliance, mostly due to his male ensemble’s commitment to his script, but ultimately it degenerates into incomprehensibility. What is The Corridor? Where did it come into being? Unanswered questions in a good movie can create intrigue (eg: Donnie Darko might not make sense but I’m compelled to keep watching it due to its raw brilliance), but here they become irritating.
Director Evan Kelly’s visualization of The Corridor is inventive given his obviously limited means, but it’s an odd concept not particularly given over to visualization. MacDonald, meanwhile, makes some interesting points about arrested development (none of the friends is particularly grown up, and they know it) and the friends’ need to push themselves into growing up, a push The Corridor gives them, albeit at the risk of losing their sanity and their lives.
Ultimately, The Corridor is an intriguing failure that brings to mind Donnie Darko in terms of its odd incomprehensibility and oddball visual effects, albeit with less charm and cultish appeal.
The Corridor begins a one-week engagement tonight at Toronto’s The Projection Booth, 1035 Gerrard St. E.