Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In the movie ‘Dark Corners’ a young husband and wife are lying on a couch discussing what hell is.  The wife says something such as hell is bringing out the sins in the dark corners of you mind and living in an endless loop or some crap.  The husband thinks hell is populated with finger puppets and those silver dudes who stand around pretending to be statues.  Why didn’t this young couple ask ME what hell is?  You know what, I’m gonna ask me.  Chris, what’s your definition of hell brother?  Well Chris, since you asked, donating ninety minutes of my life this horrible movie.  That’s my definiton hell.


Truthfully though, this is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in some time.  I’m talking ‘Date Movie’, ‘Basic Instinct 2’ bad.  Who in the hell thought it was a good idea to make this freaking movie?


As far as I could tell, this movie is about either a character named Susan, who lives in an overlit, bright and sunny world where there is apparently no night and everything is grand, or it’s about a woman named Karen who lives in a neighborhood that is lit by the same folks who light Jigsaws palace from the ‘Saw’ movies.  Karen’s life is pretty good as she has a good job, and a loving husband.  The only problem is that whenever she goes to sleep she has these horrific nightmares and lives the life of Susan, who has no husband, has a completely crappy job as morticians assistant, has dead people talk to her and seems to be getting raped nightly in her sleep.  Of course when Susan sleeps she is living Karen’s life.  Both of these alternate realities have a serial killer known as the Night Stalker who has taken to the ritualistic gutting of women.

Karen’s only little problem in her overly sunny life is that she and her husband David (Christien Arnholdt) can’t conceive a child, so they have sought the help of in-vitro fertilization to help in that matter.  Karen’s work buddy has also recommended that she see her shrink to help with her horrible nightmares.  The shrink, played by British actor Toby Stevens, seems to help for a little while but the nightmares soon comeback stronger than ever.  The mystery which is being created, I’m guessing, is which world is real and which is imagined.  Karen obviously lives in the world we’re more accustomed to, with Susan living in sets leftover from ‘The Road Warrior’.  Also left for us to ponder is which of our characters is this Night Stalker dude.


I can imagine the joy that first time writer / director Ray Grower felt getting the greenlight for what I’m sure he thought was his macabre little masterpiece, but ‘Dark Corners’ was a total and complete failure of logic, entertainment, substance and comprehension.  I’m sure there is somebody somewhere who caught the symbolism and subtle imagery that the director was attempting to sell, but the main thing all this jumping between realities accomplished was total confusion.  But then, unlike my blessed mother, I’m not a Fulbright Scholar, so it may be Dick and Jane to you.  Even worse than the story was the awful, awful dialog.  The conversations between true loves Birch and Arnholdt were so forced and contrived that there wasn’t even a glimmer of authenticity in anything either of them said.  The acting in general was certainly subpar with Ms. Birch reciting her lines as if on valium martini mix and Arnholdt relying on his perfect teeth and an ab-lounge mid-section to carry him through his scenes.  The only person who comes through this thing unscathed is Toby Stevens who manage to infuse his creepy doctor with a nice mix of charm and malice.


Far be it from me, who has no filmmaking ability whatsoever, to tell some cat what he should and should not do with his art.  But Grower would have been way better served keeping it simple and telling a fairly straight story for his first feature instead of this jumbled, pretentious, confusing, boring piece of garbage.   It’s not much good being the smartest and cleverest guy in class if you’re the only guy in class, and ‘Dark Corners’ was a waste of time for those who made this mess, and even more so for those who took the trouble to watch it.

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