The independent Canadian feature The Corridor – billing itself as a scifi-horror/thriller – has garnered a fair amount of attention on the festival circuit. With a bizarro-concept that could have been written by Stephen King 30 years ago, it’s no wonder really. Sadly, just like the wtf-is-that corridor in the film, once you get past the shiny coolness – there’s a whole lot of nothing. Writer Josh MacDonald and director Evan Kelly started with a great idea for a story, with an almost grown-up Stand by Me feel to it – but something happened along the way, and the details got muddled.
As far as I can tell, The Corridor is about five male friends and their attempt to reunite for a Boy’s Weekend Out in a remote cabin in the Canadian woods. The friends have not seen in each other as a group in a number of years – ever since Tyler (Stephen Chambers) suffered a psychotic break when his mother died, and tried to kill them all. But he’s much better now that he was just released from the institution, so they’ve all agreed to come out to this remote, winter-y cabin to help Tyler bury his poor dead mom.
Because that makes sense.
Oh, but I haven’t even gotten to the actual corridor yet. You see, when Tyler wanders out alone to do the ash-spreading deed – he stumbles upon a weird, glassy, glowing, oozy-ish, icy-ish looking ‘box’. Like a mini quantum singularity in the middle of the forest. After initially thinking he must be going crazy again, Tyler gets his friends to the spot and miraculously they all see it too. Then it starts to change… and change them. The corridor quickly feeds their worst fears and anxieties, setting up a violent showdown among the grown buddies. All of which fits neatly into the Mid-Life Crisis scenarios at play in each of the friends’ lives and their strained friendships, of course. With the more-than-capable cast and the emotional manipulation, the filmmakers could have really had something here. The problem is, no one seems to have any idea what’s really going on – and it shows.
The film leaves you with nothing but questions and no discernible answers. Just how many questions, you might ask? Fully realized, valid arguments could be made for The Corridor being about: death, alien abduction, schizophrenia, mystical entities, or some one-off supernatural oddity straight out of King’s short-stories. You know, like oily lake death-ooze from gods know where. This story may have deserved better, yet it feels like the filmmakers threw up their hands, sighed, and said, “We give up – write your own ending!”
The Corridor is available on many cable provider’s On-Demand. Check IFC’s website for your area.