The Corridor Reviews
That brings me to the script, which has a surprising amount of character development and depth in it. The first and second act build the characters extremely well, which makes it all the more disappointing when the film turns into a gory horror film without a real conclusion by the end.
The actors who are basically all no names, do a great job making each character feel unique and alive. They make their feelings and struggles feel real and relatable, drawing the viewer in very well.
Last and sadly least are the effects. First I'll start positive, The blood and gore effects were practical and looked great. The special effects for the corridor itself also looked fine in the beginning because they used it sparingly. Which now brings me to the bad, as the film goes on and the corridor expands, it ends up looking incredibly bad and distracting, also one of the characters has an extremely obvious bald cap that made them look laughable, and made it hard to take them seriously at times.
Overall though The Corridor is an atmospheric, tense, and character driven sci-Fi/horror/drama that kept me engaged up until the last 20-30 minutes.
Five young men (not teenagers) get together for a retreat in the woods. It's in snow country, and there is a lot of snow. That's good for snowball fights, snow angels, yelling for the sake of yelling, and yellow snow. Okay, so they are older, bigger, stronger, and more accomplished than teens, but still exhibit some of the same behaviours.
Tyler is mentally disturbed, in that he witnessed his mother die from overdose, and just might have had something to do with the dying part. Then he spent time in a mental institution to deal with it. Nice beginning, I suppose, but it casts doubt on all that follows. Are the proceedings supernatural, or is the whole film just about the extended delusions of an unbalanced mind? Is the film supernatural horror or psychological drama? Sigh.
Tyler makes a big deal of going away from the others to spread his mother's ashes in a spot nearby that was of some significance. He chats about it when he gets back. Is he OK? Is he OK to drink alcohol?
Jim figures he's 'shooting blanks;' that is, does not have viable seed. He's trying to figure out how to tell his wife. Bobcat has lost his hair, but gained a lot of kids, and likes to play recorded football games. Everett and Chris both play guitar. They catch up through talking.
This is all rather dull through the first 36 minutes. Then the weirdness and SFX start up. Of course Tyler witnesses it first; he's the least likely to be believed. He sees bright light in the middle of darkness, and sees an odd being who looks just like his dead mother. Tyler confides in Chris, who promises to go with him in daylight.
There is a bit of transition, but the other four witness what Tyler experienced. Together they set about exploring it. Driving a snowmobile through it does not work; the motor stopped. Their telephones do not work. All of them feel great, but they all start having nosebleeds. Everett stays; he wants to experience more right away. The others decide to go back to the cabin.
They try to figure out how to monetize it. Not surprisingly, they start having contentious exchanges; the possibility of huge amounts of mostly free money seems to open their ability to irritate each other. Everett meets Lee Shephard in the woods; Lee offers to help fix the non-functional snowmobile...then he witnesses the corridor of lights. Lee takes to it quicker than all the others. Everett notices this and garrotes him.
Their behaviour continues to become more weird. Tyler starts to look like the most sane one of the bunch. The corridor expands to the cabin.
Will the friends survive this experience?
Cinematography: 6/10 Handheld camera for some sections, uninspiring for the others.
Sound: 8/10 Mostly good.
Acting: 6/10 Competent, but not engaging. The actors were good soldiers. Unfortunately, the best actor by far, Nigel Bennett, had very little screen time.
Screenplay: 0/10 Pointless.
"Just guys hanging out."-Robert "Bobcat" Comeau (Matthew Amyotte)
The Corridor is one of the most divisive movies I've ever seen. There is a small number of people who love it, and those who do really love it. And then there are the masses, who find it hateful. It's tempting to say that those who love it were the people who "got it" and those who didn't etc., and I think there is some of that, but I don't think that's completely it-I think some people who got it didn't realize they got it, and if they had, they would have said "wait, that's it?" This is, obviously, to the movie's detriment, but perhaps not as much as it should be-it's attempting to bend minds, and some minds just aren't built for being bent.
Plot: five high school friends-Tyler (Casino Jack's Stepen Chambers), Everett (Saw VI's James Gilbert), Chris (Ambulance Girl's David Patrick Flemming), Bobcat (Outlander's Matthew Amyotte), and Huggs (Hobo with a Shotgun's Glen Matthews)-get together for a memorial service for Tyler's mother after he is released from a mental institution (we see why he was put there in the opening scene). Tyler believes that, thanks to a lot of therapy and even more medication, he is back in touch with reality, but while he is out in the woods at night, he finds himself experiencing something that seems, well, crazy-he believes he's in an invisible box that allows him superhuman abilities. He doubts his sanity-until the others also start experiencing it in the same spot. The problem is, them experiencing it and Tyler being crazy may not be mutually exclusive...
I've been reading the IMDB boards for this one, and a lot of people are saying it makes no sense, while others are saying you need to pay attention to every second of the movie in order to get it. Really? I thought it was pretty straightforward, myself (though obviously explaining it here would get far, far into spoiler territory). I also thought it was just shy of brilliant, perfectly-shot to induce claustrophobia, quite well-acted, and original. I wasn't entirely sure about the ending, but it does fit with the material; it just seems that with a couple of tweaks the ending could have packed a little more punch than it did. But still, what we got is very much worth watching, and if you don't mind your sci-fi-mental-instability thrillers with a bit of the old overly-cerebral to them, you're going to be one of that small minority who, like me, absolutely loves this little indie gem. *** 1/2