A businesswoman is pursued by a psychopath after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve.A businesswoman is pursued by a psychopath after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve.A businesswoman is pursued by a psychopath after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve.
In my humble opinion, an underground car parkparticularly an almost deserted one late at nightis the perfect setting for a scary movie: full of hard, unforgiving, concrete surfaces (perfect for inflicting pain), dark menacing shadows, and eerie echoes, this unique environment offers horror film-makers maximum scope for scaring the bejeezuz out of an audience (I still shiver thinking about the car park scene in Zach Snyder's Dawn of the Dead).
Certainly, P2to my knowledge, the first film to be set entirely within such surroundingsbenefits immensely from its creepy locale's ominous ambiance: with little more than a routine 'woman in peril' scenario for a plot, director Franck Khalfoun relies heavily on his cavernous, subterranean environment to provide atmosphere and scares. Narrow corridors of light surrounded by blackness; flickering neon bulbs; ever vigilant surveillance cameras; claustrophobic elevators and uncomfortable crawlspaces: every aspect of the car park setting is cleverly used to breathe new life into tired material.
Spirited performances from the film's two leads also help to gloss over the film's numerous plot holes and clichés: Bentley is required to over-act as though his life depends on it, and obliges with an impressive, no-holds-barred display of nuttiness (in one hilarious scene, he even gets to pretend he's Elvis!). Nichols also handles her role well, scoring maximum points for her screaming, running, and ability to look unfeasibly hot in a flimsy dress (worn for no other reason than to permit viewers a chance to ogle her impressive cleavage).
Occasionally, the material does get a little TOO predictable for its own good: a couple of moments that attempt to deliver the 'surprise factor' fail spectacularly, and the result of the climactic showdown between Angela and Thomas is telegraphed way too early (close-ups of leaking petrol and a sparking Taser can mean only one thing...). However, with one particularly violent set piece guaranteed to shock all but the most desensitized of gore-hounds, and the constant distraction of Rachel Nichols' magnificent heaving chest, I find it fairly easy to be forgiving about the film's weaker moments, hence my possibly-too-generous rating of 7 out of 10.
- Mar 20, 2009