"The plot and the structure of it and what the meaning is and what the events are representational of. I found that to be confusing. -- Thora Birch, in a recent interview about her latest film, Dark Corners. Oh, good. So it's not just me. Something of a cross between A Nightmare on Elm Street and Drew Barrymore's Doppelganger, Dark Corners, which is being released on DVD today, asks us to follow two parallel story threads, each of which stars a Birch character. In one of the stories, we get a character that I'll call Heaven Thora, who has honey-blonde hair and a handsome husband and leaves an upscale suburban home every day to go to a comfortably boring office job, where no one presumably bothers her with questions about what she's been up to since Ghost World. In the other story, we have Hell Thora, a big-haired, sluttily-dressed mortician's assistant who is inhabiting a nightmare world with a bunch of possessed demon-people who paw at windows and swipe at you with sharp instruments if you get too close.

Each Thora exists as a recurring dream for the other Thora, and this is a big problem for Heaven Thora, because she's currently battling through a high-class problem: she is subjecting herself to IVF treatments in order to conceive a child, and a recurring nightmare in which she's a member of Vixen is not in keeping with the doctor's orders to relax. To nip this problem in the bud, Heaven Thora visits a psychotherapist, played by British actor Toby Stephens. In an awkwardly written scene, he sits her down in front of a spinning crystal, putting her to sleep so that he can hypnotically suggest that she rid herself of the "dream me." Planting this suggestion causes Hell Thora to be set upon by the demon people, who stab her to death. The hypno-therapist then happily announces that Heaven Thora is now rid of her doppelganger, to which she quips: "I thought you guys always dragged this kind of thing out, to make extra money." I'm re-hashing all of this because it's more or less the last scene I can explain.

categories Features, DVDs, Cinematical