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Review: 'Locker 13' anthology film recovers at the end

The middling "Locker 13" is a "Twilight Zone"-like anthology of quasi-chilling stories mostly unified by an unlucky little storage closet and the theme of choices and consequences.

Featuring five short yarns, each spun out by its own writer and director, the film takes a decidedly old-fashioned approach to situation and character. The result is an alternately creaky and intriguing ride, one of earnest ambition and dashed potential.

More consistent is the array of knowing performances, led by the dependable Jon Gries ("Napoleon Dynamite") as Archie, a western-themed tourist park manager who wryly relates the film's first four cautionary tales to ex-con Skip (Jason Spisak), the attraction's shaky new night janitor.

This quartet of stories includes a prizefighter on the skids (Ricky Schroder) navigating a pair of deadly boxing gloves; a new recruit (Bart Johnson) to a secret men's club facing a treacherous initiation; a suicidal young guy (Alexander Polinsky) befriended by an unexpected advocate (Jason Marsden); and a hit man (Rick Hoffman) turning the tables on three women, one of whom hired him to kill an alleged creep (Thomas Calabro). The boxing tale packs some punch, but the others, although watchable, prove random and underwhelming.

Best, however, is a fifth passage involving Skip and his vexing doppelganger, who turns up inside the titular locker. Buoyed by Spisak's effectively haunted turn, this section wraps things up with a focus and energy largely missing from the previous stories.

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"Locker 13"

MPAA rating: Rated R for violence

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Playing at: Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood. Also on VOD.

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