Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Everyone have a good Valentines Day? Whatever, I don't care. Anyway, how's winter treating you? We've had lots of great lake effect snow here and it's been really lovely.  Perfect weather to stay inside and watch horror movies. Which is why we're all here, right? Well for our latest installment of Dead Of Winter the lovely and talented LESS LEE MOORE has graced us with her review of THE CORRIDOR, which is currently streaming on Shudder. Less Lee is the mastermind behind the awesome POPSHIFTER (which I also write for) and you can also find her on Modern Horrors, Everything is Scary, and in the pages of Rue Morgue!

One of the coolest subgenres of horror is the “unreliable narrator.” From Let’s Scare Jessica To Death
to the more recent POD, this trope is sometimes manifested through the main character’s mental instability. As such, it can provide a frightening commentary on the real-life horrors of mental illness.

2010’s The Corridor, directed by Evan Kelly, takes an unreliable narrator and places him in a cabin in the middle of the snowy wilderness. Like the titular character in Let’s Scare Jessica To Death, Tyler Crawley has just been released from a mental hospital and is trying to get his life back together. He and four friends are spending the weekend at his now-deceased mother’s cabin in the woods and they are all understandably hesitant about whether or not Tyler is truly sane.

The film’s prologue places the audience in media res to a standoff that took place at some point before the boys’ weekend. Tyler is hiding in a closet, hearing his mother’s voice inside his head, even though his mother’s dead body lies on the floor of the hallway in front of him. When his friends try to intervene, he goes after them with a knife before being tackled to the ground. This memory hangs heavily over Tyler and his friends – Chris, Everett, Jim, and Bob – as they try to pick up the pieces of their shattered friendship.

The Corridor also explores the crisis of masculinity that each of these characters experiences. Tyler’s fragility is the most obvious, but not necessarily the most damaging. Everett has impersonal sex with a woman at work before he heads out to the cabin; Jim is wondering how to tell his wife that he’s sterile; Chris feels like he hasn’t become a man yet; Bob overcompensates for his thinning hair by acting extra macho.

All of these individual dramas are filtered through ongoing reminiscences about Tyler’s mom, Pauline, who looms large in the collective memory of the four friends. This exacerbates the already-existing tension of the male characters’ apparent need to assert their masculinity.

When Tyler discovers a strange phenomenon in the woods, he’s not sure if it’s he’s seeing things
again or if it’s real. There’s a sense of relief when he brings the others outside and they see it, too. Yet, because this is a horror film, we know that relief will not last long. In fact, it soon becomes replaced with something more disturbing.

There’s a considerable science fiction element to The Corridor. While the movie may sometimes remind viewers of The Thing, it trades John Carpenter’s iconic body horror for something more cerebral (but still brutal). It’s never clear what the phenomenon in the woods is or where it came from, but as the characters soon find out, it’s been around for a long time.

Not all of the questions raised by The Corridor are answered, and the film presents us with enough horrifying sights that it will creep around in your head for a while. You can watch it on Shudder Canada. (Just watch out for static on the TV…)

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