THE CORRIDOR: Paranoid, Lo-Fi Sci Fi From Canada

One of the screeners they sent out to press prior to last year’s Fantastic Fest was the Canadian sci fi thriller The Corridor. I loved the hell out of it but never got around to writing about it because I’m only one man and I saw a lot of movies the month of the festival. Get off my back. This month the film is being released by IFC, so I figured I’d show it some proper OL love.

The debut feature from Canucks Evan Kelly and Josh MacDonald, The Corridor is a smart and wholly original trip into sci fi paranoid madness. Recovering from a psychotic breakdown after the death of his mother, Tyler Crawley heads to a remote cabin in the woods of Nova Scotia. As everyone knows, cabins in woods always lead to some sick shit. When Tyler suffered his homicidal burst of madness, he sort of tried to murder his friends – slashing one n the face and stabbing another through the hand. So what better way to make amends than with a little getaway in the woods?

The awkwardness and absurdity of going to a remote cabin with a man who tried to kill you isn’t lost on Tyler’s friends. A few even admit that they only came along out of a sense of obligation. Trust and unease constantly see-saw within the group, and tensions increase when Tyler admits that he may be hallucinating again. He comes across a phantasmal “corridor” in the woods. At first Tyler believes it’s just one of his hallucinations, but once his friends step inside the corridor, shit gets spooky.

The group gradually gains telepathic powers, portals are opened in their minds that lead to the subconscious. This, as you probably guessed it, isn’t fun when the subconscious belongs to someone with homicidal rages in their history. The Corridor never offers any answers as to what the corridor is or how it got there. Could it be alien? A military experiment? Obamacare? This adds some great mystery elements to the film, plus any attempt to explain the film’s supernatural elements would ruin a lot of the terror we experience alongside the group.

The sense of foreboding in the film is masterfully built up by Kelly and MacDonald, with some scenes that are downright unsettling. It’s a smart sci fi (a rarity these days) that holds some great ideas and a few moments of surprisingly shocking gore. Things sort of fall off the rails for a minute once the boys gain their powers and begin to play with them. It all just happens so damn fast and it takes a while for the pacing to settle down again. That’s really my only complaint. The Corridor is well-acted, well-shot, and a downright chilling entry in the lo-fi sci fi camp. You’re going to wanna keep your eye on the future of Kelly and MacDonald collabo films.

The IFC website just says March 30 for a release, but no info on whether it’ll be On Demand or in select theaters – either way, definitely check out The Corridor!