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The Corridor  (2012)
2 Stars
Directed by Evan Kelly.
Cast: Stephen Chambers, James Gilbert, David Flemming, Glen Matthews, Matthew Amyotte, Mary-Colin Chisholm, Nigel Bennett.
2012 – 98 minutes
Not Rated (equivalent of an R for strong bloody violence, sexual content and language).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, March 31, 2012.
A low-budget psychological horror film from Nova Scotia, "The Corridor" has ambition to spare, but not quite the resources—or the necessary, tautly devised coherence—to work as more than a lesser grab-bag work inspired by John Carpenter, David Lynch and especially Stephen King (namely, 2003's "Dreamcatcher"). Unsettling individual moments and a doom-heavy tone make way for one-dimensional characterizations, stagey performances, and a plot that grows ever weirder without adding up to anything of note by the end.

Several months after Tyler Crawley (Stephen Chambers) was driven mad following the mysterious death of his mother Pauline (Mary-Colin Chisholm), he checks out of the hospital and promptly reunites with a group of childhood friends at the snowy family cabin where he hopes to spread her ashes. Tensions are high, and understandably so; the last time any of them saw Tyler, he was slicing one of them in the face and stabbing another clear through the hand. Now on a more even keel, the hope is to reconnect. They eventually do, but in a completely different way once they discover an anomalous force field out in the woods that sends them all over the deep end as their minds begin to meld together. Suddenly it's Tyler who's the most sane one as he helplessly watches his friends kill each other.

"The Corridor" is a little creepy until it turns a little nonsensical, director Evan Kelly and screenwriter Josh MacDonald never coming to an agreement on what these bizarre, mystically-powered forces of the forest are and what their master purpose is in the lives of Tyler's sparring pals, none of whom can barely stand each other from the get-go. Speaking of the characters, they're all types—i.e., the good-looking player (James Gilbert), the balding former football star (Matthew Amyotte, wearing the most fake bald cap this side of "Saturday Night Live"), the smart one with impotency problems (Glen Matthews)—and they don't particularly grow beyond irritants. As they mercifully drop like flies, Tyler is left to face the ghost of his mother and a psyche that may very well be buckling. It seems like half of genre pics these days begin with a cabin in the woods. As such, "The Corridor" is alternately offbeat and derivative, reminiscent of a "Twilight Zone" episode without a satisfying payoff.
© 2012 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman