I proudly consider myself a pretty independent thinker. Thus, I try to stay clear of reading reviews of a film before I actually see the thing. However, I do admit that I did read some of the YouTube comments prior to watching John Klappstein and Knighten Richman’s 2010 sci-fi, horror film The Corrupted. One particularly nuanced opinion of the film comes from YouTube user Amanda Byers who states, “im sorry i dont mean to offend anyone one im sure they worked very hard on this … but this movie is crap the turbo tax commercial i saw had a better story line and far superior video quality.” And while I personally love the Turbo Tax commercials, Amanda Byers’ comment had me do a little “ruh-roh” before I pressed play.
My first impression of the opening sequence of The Corrupted is a strange mix of intrigue and pleasant discomfort. The simple, drawn out guitar lullaby, the mysteriousness of the characters, and the melodramatic deadpan delivery of the ominous first line immediately reminds me of a type of bizarre Twin Peaks-esque introduction. I’m excited to say the least. That is, until the film actually gets going.
As much as I did enjoy the opening shot, I was overall disappointed with The Corrupted. Without spoiling anything, the film is basically about a group of horned-up, drunk 20-somethings who are vacationing at a lake when mysterious things start happening. Also, just to give you a heads up, tentacles are involved. That could either be a deal-breaker or a deal-maker for some audience members – no judgement.
Even though the production value of the film, the sound mixing, and the editing is done well, the film falls prey to so many tropes characteristic of low-budget, independent horror films – sub par acting, stale dialogue, incoherent story. And while three-quarters of the film is tied-up in these monotonous and all-too-familiar tropes, the last half-hour does have some redeeming qualities. Because of these few moments of truly atmospheric eeriness combined with beautiful shots reminiscent of David Robert Mitchell’s 2015 film It Follows, The Corrupted does show a certain dedication to the craft and to the genre. Hopefully, with a larger budget and some heavy script-editing, these dedications can be fully fleshed out by the directors. Amazing movie? No. A decent sci-fi film that shows great potential? Yesiree!
Review: Alex Schultz