While director Evan Kelly’s Canadian indie flick is being touted as a “sci-fi thriller”, over-eager viewers should note that the sci-fi elements take a good hour to reach maximum charge. A handful of old friends reunite at a snowbound cabin in the woods after a years-old tragedy, and with all the angsty talk of receding hairlines and male sterility, the first half of The Corridor detours through Men of a Certain Age country while on route to Dreamcatcher territory. Sure, some creepy sci-fi shit eventually happens, but those looking to be “thrilled” are going to have to bring along a spare backpack full of patience.
A brief prologue explains that teenage Terry had a mental breakdown after his mother’s apparent drug overdose. When his high school buddies attempted to offer assistance, Terry went at them with a butcher knife in full-on berserker mode. After being institutionalized for years, Terry is finally released, but as he joins his grown-up friends at the cabin in search of forgiveness, he wonders if the emotional scars will ever truly heal.
Twitchy and medicated, he’s initially pleased when his friends welcome him with open arms. But later, while wandering alone in the woods by the cabin, Terry discovers an enormous translucent “corridor“, and he wonders if this hallucination signals another mental breakdown. After 45 minutes of whiney male jibber-jabber, Terry‘s discovery of the mysterious corridor threatens to defibrillate the movie to life, but not before the filmmakers can roll out a few more generic scenes focused on the male mid-life crisis.
Ultimately all of the friends realize that they can also see the translucent box––Terry’s not batshit after all. Once they step inside, The Corridor starts busting out some super cool shit like mind-reading and alien possession, but it takes an eternity to get there. Frankly, I don’t get it. If you intend to build a thought-provoking sci-fi thriller based on ideas instead of action, why wait until after the halfway point to break out the good stuff? Ideas don’t cost anything…
If the dimestore CGI is any indication, the budget may have been a reason for the baggy beginning. There’s too much emphasis on depicting the translucent corridor with cheap-looking imagery, and not enough time spent exploring the creative ideas introduced by Josh McDonald’s script. If The Corridor had faith in its base concepts, it could have been riveting from beginning to end. Instead, it hides its true intentions until after the halfway point, and then expects its audience to snap awake once it starts getting good.