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When one grisly morning his phone rings, starving artist Sam Yuen (Daniel Wu) couldn't have been less prepared. An unrecognizable voice claims his twin had been severely injured, urging Sam to pack up and leave London for HK. Feeling obligated, the destitute painter somehow makes his way back, only to be informed of the twin's unfortunate demise. As if such grim tidings weren't enough, he finds his alcoholic mom deranged out of her wits.
Understandably stymied by these events of the macabre, Sam seeks answers, stepping into realms of HP Lovecraftian proportions. Everyone he literally bumps into have some dark secret or other dangling over their heads menacingly, including his former school teacher and priest, a classmate turned radio celebrity and a creepy librarian any idiot could tell would be best avoided.
Disturbing facts pertaining to Sam's twin surface, some through an alleged ex-girlfriend (Coco Chiang) who promptly proceeds to engage the new arrival in startling fornication. It transpires the twin was mauled by feral monkeys at a local zoo, but above all else, conflicting information hints at a severe identity crises as Sam begins to wonder which of the two brothers actually died.
Author-director Julian Lee wanted a Gothic, slightly grotesque atmosphere, shooting for one by incorporating sickly elements such as sexual deviance, paranoid delusions and murder. Sadly for him, the end result resembles more those pseudo-scary HK ghost flicks, albeit a very slick one at that. Despite tons of intellectual contrivances and direct references to Henry Fuseli's blunt imagery in his classic painting The Nightmare, Night Corridor doesn't reach lofty heights as did Seven, Twelve Monkeys and Memento, to name a few possible points of inspiration. However, it probably will work to raise Daniel Wu's career from its current mire following mediocre ho-hum appearances in both Love Undercover films, Naked Weapon and the atrocious Peeping.
Scant few locations and a short runtime probably stand as Night Corridor's main asset, not only constructing a viable ambiance but additionally helping put the simple story within an appropriately brief context. Any longer and the whole caboodle would come crashing down.
Rating: * * *
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