Part seriocomic character study and part over-the-top splatter fest, Cornered! is an extremely enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half, with director Daniel Maze and screenwriter Darrin Grimwood providing quirky atmosphere and a handful of sad sack characters (a failing business owner along with his overweight employee and drug addled nephew and, on the female front, a plump phone sex operator and a frazzled prostitute) that you eventually come to care about despite their over obvious flaws.
Accidentally locking themselves inside a roach infested convenience store on their poker night, the above mentioned characters soon find themselves subjected to their most vividly imagined tortures courtesy of a shadowy (and extremely malevolent) figure. Maze and Grimwood don’t skimp on the torturous barbarity – although, you’ll have to wait until well after the halfway point until it truly kicks in – and while all the major performers are charming in a variety of ways, the true acting kudos belong to a squirming James Duval as the rapidly detoxing drug fiend and the multileveled Eduardo Antonio Garcia as his concerned and exasperated guardian.
A toned and blonde Steve Guttenberg also turns up for an anxious moment or two in this very low budget exercise in black horror comedy – ultimately making Cornered! a congested circumstance that inquisitive terror fans may want to experience on some aimless Saturday afternoon or sleep challenged work morning.