Allan Archer didn’t think much when a long-serving teacher at Alfred Pierce Preparatory school was fired for selling drugs to students. But when a pushy dame insists there’s more to this case than meets the eye, the hardboiled Editor of the newspaper club must find the truth before it’s too late.
At its heart, The Cobblestone Corridor is a love letter to the noir genre. You may think that ‘teen detective at school’ has already been done by Veronica Mars, but they are two very different beasts.
While ‘Mars’ is a teen drama with Noir mystery elements, Cobblestone is basically a Noir mystery picked up and dropped whole into a prep school. This is far from a bad thing; the detective drama dialogue contrasts delightfully with the school setting.
Allan Archer is your classic hardboiled detective; Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Merryweather even nicknames him ‘gumshoe’. His internal monologue is fitting and to the point; avoiding the all too common error of trying to be too clever. Instead, it gives us a clear picture of what type of person Archer is; a sharp, cynical boy unimpressed by his rich schoolmates.
The mystery driving the plot is tightly plotted; a necessity with a twenty five minute runtime. Viewers wanting to figure out the culprit before Archer does are advised to pay close attention as there are no filler scenes in this film. And you will be able to figure it out ahead of Archer because, like the best mystery fiction, this is a ‘fair play whodunit’. To be honest, it’s not actually too hard to figure out who the guilty party is. This is not so much a mark against the writing as it is a reality of having such a small main cast.
The cast itself performs admirably and the acting from the main cast and the extras is flawless. My only real gripe is that the plot rigidly follows the traditional Noir mystery formula. From the beautiful but suspicious woman engaging the detective, to the detective confronting the culprit alone; if you had a list, you could tick them off one at a time.
Ultimately though, while the The Cobblestone Corridor doesn’t try anything new, it doesn’t do anything wrong either. From the writing, to the acting, to the camera work, everything is done to an impressive level of quality. If you’ve got twenty five minutes to spare, you could do a lot worse than watching The Cobblestone Corridor.
The Cobblestone Coridor premieres on Vimeo On Demand on 21st May (available to pre-order now): https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thecobblestonecorridor
Certificate: All Audiences
Director: Erik Bloomquist
Starring: Erik Bloomquist, Madeleine Dauer, Nicholas Tucci, Adam Weppler, Graham King, Alex Sarrigeorgiou, Alec Richards, Ben Santiago
Running Time: 25 Minutes