Whether an expecting mom's nightmares are conjuring up a goth-styled mortuary existence, or the mortuary gal is dreaming of being pregnant is up in the air in the terminally bad "Dark Corners." Horror marketplace would seem too crowded for such a non-starter, though vid stores will leave a space in the back.

Whether an expecting mom’s nightmares are conjuring up a goth-styled mortuary existence, or the mortuary gal is dreaming of being pregnant is up in the air in the terminally bad “Dark Corners.” Lurching by the reel toward the lower tier of recent horror pics, writer-director Ray Gower’s film taps into everything from the look of “Saw” to bits from David Lynch and “Hellraiser” with ever-diminishing returns. Horror marketplace would seem too crowded for such a non-starter, though vid stores will leave a space in the back.

Pregnant Susan (Thora Birch) is so disturbed by visions of a ghoulish serial killer (Oliver Price) and a woman named Karen (also Birch, in goth-like makeup) who works around the dead that she seeks help from an intimidating shrink (Toby Stephens). Karen, in turn, dreams about Susan, and both women grow to realize they may have a doppelganger dogging them — to say nothing of the killer. While there’s enough narrative and visual material for a genuinely creepy film, pic devolves into a disappointing game of mind tricks. Birch gives the impression she went through the ringer, but with little to show for it.

Dark Corners

U.S.-U.K.

Production

A Shoreline Entertainment presentation of a Matador production in association with Regent Capital and Dark Corners LLP. Produced by Nigel Thomas. Executive producers, Morris Ruskin, Lauri Apelian CQ. Directed, written by Ray Gower.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Paul Sadourian; editors, Simon Willcox, Charlie Harvey; music, Andrew Pearce; production designer, Tim Keates; costume designer, Charlotte Kay; makeup/hair, Veronique Keys; sound (Dolby Digital), Gareth John; special effects supervisor, Ben Hall; associate producer, Charlotte Wells; casting, Kate Plantin, Lisa Essary. Reviewed at AFI Los Angeles Film Festival, Nov. 10, 2006. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Thora Birch, Toby Stephens, Christien Anholt, Joanna Hole, Lorraine Bruce, Ray Charleson, Michael J. Reynolds, Alan Perrin, Oliver Price.
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