“Friends on a weekend excursion take a path into a forest that leads to death and destruction.” — IMDb
This movie starts off in a bit of chaos, as we see the main character, Tyler (played by Stephen Chambers), in the midst of a struggle with his friends after he is having a breakdown following his mother’s overdose. We quickly switch to them, presumably several years later and following Tyler’s hospitalization, joining back together at his mother’s cabin in the woods for some male bonding (and for Tyler to find some closure after his mother’s traumatic death). The tension between the group is palpable, particularly from Chris (played by David Patrick Flemming), who Tyler had stabbed during the altercation before his hospitalization.
They did a great job at letting us really get to know each character throughout the course of the movie. Maybe a little too well, really… it’s a solid 45 minutes (half of the run time) before we even SEE “the corridor”. But really, I thought there was some meaningful banter, which surprised me especially considering the seeming banality of the plot so far. I thought they all fit a bit too stereotypically into their roles at times, but ultimately each showed their strengths and flaws effectively. The acting wasn’t amazing, but I thought they did a good job at being fairly natural, and I think the intelligent script made up for any lacking in their ability.
The corridor itself is pretty neat to behold, and I thought it was a unique idea, at least nothing I’ve ever seen before. The special effects in this movie aren’t anything to write home about, but I thought the corridor was subtle enough that it didn’t need much — it’s not flashy or overdone. The guys’ reaction to the corridor was a bit surprising to me, with them immediately rushing to “guard” it so they could, ultimately, get some money and fame from its existence. It was fascinating how quickly the corridor’s power started to affect them, with each guy sort of standing in awe at his newfound abilities. That part of the movie was awesome, I thought — I found my mouth hanging agape a little bit when Everett is guarding their new friend and watches the plane go by above, hearing the communications clear as day.
It has a few very effectively chilling scenes, which were impressive. Everett’s accidental encounter with the hunter, for one — you can feel how desperate but primal his reaction was. When Tyler sees his mother outside of the house and she tilts her head to let out an almost mechanical scream — very reminiscent of The Thing.
Ultimately, we learn that their collective subconscious is not quite powerful enough to withstand such a force. All of the flaws and shortcomings we’d learned about earlier in the film start to rear their heads and they all revert to the most intense versions of themselves. There’s some really surprising (and well done) gore to appease anyone who was wishing there was more blood (the scalping is… whoa). And while the ending is a bit cheesy with the crappy effects and possibly a bit too mysterious and vague for some, I thought it was decent.
I can’t help but think that this was a pretty awesome idea, just maybe not executed to the best of anyone’s ability. A solid try, absolutely, and some really great moments, but just not quite there.