On first glance, I felt like The Corridor lost some steam in the final act. As I continued to think about the film after its conclusion, however, I started to think I was a bit off with that assessment. The Corridor is not a film that loses steam. If anything, it's a film that picks up steam at such a pace that the viewer's brain might stop comprehending what's going on.
Clearly this could earn The Corridor that "mind trip" label that often gets thrown at movies which don't pander to traditional storytelling techniques, but The Corridor isn't all random occurrences and trickeration. (Yes, I stole that word from John Madden and tried to make it a thing. So?) It's definitely one of those movies that I can't start to explain without giving something away, but that's mostly because it's a relatively fresh concept.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about The Corridor is how it starts with something strange (a man hiding in the closet while his dead mother is on the hallway floor and his friends are trying to figure out what's going on) then becomes something normal (a bunch of friends heading into the wild for a getaway/reunion) and then becomes something completely unheard of and out of control. The plot is about as linear as it could be when you consider the strange dimensional rift going on in this snowy wilderness, but the twists that occur are abrupt and unconventional.
As the film allows its characters to explore their lives and their pasts it takes on a tone that will remind many viewers of Stephen King, particularly reminding me of the failed film adaptation of Dreamcatcher. The relationships here aren't incredibly deep or interesting, but they seem pretty natural as the film progresses. The group of actors are all pretty competent at playing these simple roles, so the film avoids falling into one of those traps where a bad actor makes an independent horror film feel less prolific.
The dynamic between these men is good, but it's the other part of The Corridor - involving the titular vortex and wackiness that ranges to mind control to knives and blood - that will keep people thinking about this one after the film ends. The final act has some special effects that aren't high quality and they even make it a little difficult to take the film seriously at times, but open-minded viewers should be able to get past these quibbles.
The rest of the film has some effective chills (recurring visions of that mother got under my skin), some painful brutality, and even a bit of humor. The whole thing might not come together perfectly, but there's a lot of originality here. The Corridor didn't feel like a must see as the end credits rolled, but a day later I keep thinking back to it, and I'm anxious to give it another go. A film that provokes this much thought is certainly worth a solid recommendation.