Review: The Corridor / Cert: 18 / Director: Evan Kelly / Screenplay: Josh MacDonald / Starring: Stephen Chambers, James Gilbert, David Patrick Flemming / Release Date: February 25th 2013
A favourite on the festival circuit for the last year or so, this Canadian horror film has hints of sci-fi and takes the hoary cabin in the woods scenario to a very different place.
A group of life-long friends head to a remote cabin in the snow-covered woods of Nova Scotia. Here they meet up with their erstwhile buddy Tyler (Chambers), newly released from an asylum after losing it big time when his mother killed herself in front of him. That he has a history of lashing out violently at his pals doesn't help the atmosphere at what is already a very chilly rendezvous. It seems like only a matter of time before he has a relapse; meanwhile, they are all quietly getting on each others nerves.
When Tyler is spreading his mother's ashes, he encounters something strange in the woods. The others naturally assume he's off his meds, until they, too, experience the mysterious force that seems to feed on their presence. Euphoria and wonder soon turns to mistrust and paranoia, however, as they fight among themselves and become increasingly hostile to Tyler, whose blockers seem to make him immune to the power exuded from the anomaly.
This strange ensemble piece could have easily fallen victim to its low budget, but to the credit of all involved, it manages to be both enigmatic and entertaining. Instead of being a lazy psycho thriller (the mental illness part is handled rather well) it blends elements of horror, existentialism and spiritualism and doesn't feel the need to provide all the answers on simple sign posts. It's thus one of those rare films that rewards watching without too much prior knowledge, and certainly has a couple of decent developments. The other side of the coin is that it is also a film that will infuriate those who prefer everything to be spelt out for them. Go into it with an open mind, though, and you may be pleasantly surprised.