‘The Corridor’

The Corridor (2010)

The Corridor (2010). Directed by Evan Kelly. Starring Stephen Chambers, David Patrick Fleming, James Gilbert, Matthew Amyotte, Glen Matthews, Mary-Colin Chisholm, Nigel Bennett.

Helmed by first time director Evan Kelly, The Corridor takes the classic horror film set up of the cabin in the woods in a unique direction. There’s no crazed killer lurking in the dark forest this time, but what happens to the characters is no less violent. The Corridor is a quiet horror film that successfully blends drama and science fiction elements. Instead of Friday the 13th, this is more like The Big Chill… except it’s all guys, there’s no weird wife-swapping, and the screenplay was influenced by Stephen King instead of Lawrence Kasdan.

The Corridor opens on a tense scene of a man, Tyler (Stephen Chambers), in the depths of a violent mental breakdown as his friends try to help him, resulting in an injury to one of the would be heroes. Some unspecified time after this incident, the friends meet at a cabin in an attempt to reconnect, not just to try to repair their bonds after the incident but also because they’ve been generally growing apart over the years. Tyler has recently been released from a mental hospital and the feelings are tense, particularly between himself and Chris (David Patrick Fleming), the friend whose hand he stabbed. When Tyler, alone, heads out into the forest to spread his mother’s ashes on the snowy ground, he encounters a mysterious force field. Not sure if he’s experiencing a delusion or if the spectral field is really there, he brings his friends to investigate. What they discover begins tearing their friendship apart in horrible ways.

This is an all around terrific film; the acting, writing, and cinematography are all great. The characters contain some common stereotypes– the football jock yearning for his glory days, the volatile alcoholic, the meek, nerdy guy getting picked on by the rest of the gang– but they are more than these tropes. The characterizations are enhanced by the fantastic performances of the actors. The Corridor also explores the persistent bullying among this group of friends. The instigators seem to think that their cruel jokes and aggressive roughhousing are beneficial to their victims and this concept is carried out to a fascinating extreme through the last portion of the film.

The weakest aspect of The Corridor might be the final few minutes. It is strange, a little corny, and goofy looking in parts. It speeds by so quickly that it left me a bit confused and unsure of what happened, although this seemed to be intentional. The filmmakers don’t spell out what the exact nature of the “corridor” is, leaving it open to interpretation instead. As much as this kind of elusiveness can be frustrating, I still enjoy thoughtful films such as this.

I can’t recommend The Corridor enough. It is a thoughtful yet disturbing horror film with a couple of good scares, including a clever jump scare that really got under my skin, in a great, creepy way. I even went back to the film just to watch that bit and it got me the second time around. The Corridor may even appeal to non-horror fans, “normies” if you will, although they’d still have to sit through some pretty intense violence. If you think you can swallow a slightly goofy ending, check it out.

I sure haven’t gone through very many movies yet in this “marathon”… I’ll try to get to some more as the month goes on. Maybe even some more of those Halloween films that are waiting to be watched…

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One Response to “‘The Corridor’”

  1. Michael K. Vaughan Says:

    I saw this movie about a year ago and thought it was great. It really went places I did not expect and that is rare in horror movies nowdays. It was on a list of great Lovecraftian movies though it felt a lot more Algernon Blackwood to me.

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