Director – Franck Khalfoun
Cast – Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols, Simon Reynolds, Philip Akin, Stephanie Moore, Miranda Edwards
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This flick pretty much came out of nowhere in 2007,and I remember enjoying it back then so I decided to give it another watch. Upon my second watch the film felt just as good to me now as it did back then, but I did notice something I overlooked…this film was written/produced by French horror maestro Alexandre Aja! I hadn’t realized it before, but his influence is definitely seen in this film. It is always nice to know that good and simple horror flicks can still be put out this day and age, and “P2” is one of them.
“P2” stars Rachel Nichols as Angela, a business woman who is working late on Christmas Eve. She is already late for a party she must attend, and is the last person out of the building. She heads to her usual parking garage and as if the timing could be any worse…her car won’t start. Because this is Christmas Eve, the building is locked up and she must enlist the help of a lowly security guard named Thomas(Wes Bentley). At first he seems helpful, but soon enough she begins to notice he is a little too helpful. Thomas, in his fragile state of mind, will not let Angela leave, no matter the cost. Stuck alone in an underground parking garage with a psychopath and no immediate way out, she is in for the most memorable Christmas Eve of her life.
Of course, me being a fan of the “nowhere to run” aspect in horror, it’s obvious I enjoyed this flick. The fact that this flick takes place in a nearly empty underground parking garage is pretty creepy(we have on at work, I would know), and the fact that this flick takes place on Christmas Eve where no one will be around to save our protagonist is even more awesome. It’s a cool story, a cool story that was written by Alexandre Aja. I was very surprised at how simple this flick is. Nearly the entire film is shot in the parking garage setting, and it still manages to pace quite well thanks to different elements thrown into the mix. Our antagonist in the film was an interesting one, and not your usual killer. He was a more fragile minded killer, a simple man used to being alone and unloved. However he did have a very dark and sinister side to him that could come out of nowhere, and that was cool to watch.
Director Franck Khalfoun, who also penned the screenplay with Alejendre Aja and even had an acting role in Aja’s “High Tension”, did a fine job with this film. This is still his only directoral effort for the moment, but I can see him directing future horror flicks. Anyone who can take a film with a very simple setting and make it work for 98 minutes is good in my book. I mentioned earlier that Aja’s influence is seen throughout this film, and it is most obvious with this film’s gore and kill scenes. Khalfoun did not shy away from the gore one bit, and gave us one of the coolest and most brutal kills I’ve ever seen(the “strapped to the chair” scene).
Now, one problem with this film’s simple setting is that it can drag very easily, and it did slightly at some points. I meant what I said about this film being well done for 98 minutes, and that is because this flick uses lots of tension to sell itself. In order to create lots of tension, you normally need long scenes that will keep the audience on their toes, and that is why this film had a somewhat high runtime for what it is. I found the antagonist to be a little annoying at times, but I am sure is just actor Wes Bentley selling his part. The guy is a lonely guy, and it is most likely because he is just annoying as hell. I have friends like that, it’s understandable. Hehe.
Overall, this is a positive watch that I recommend to those who would like to see a modern day horror flick incorporate a very simple setting and make it work. This was definitely somewhat of a sleeper flick, and it’s always nice to catch these when they come around.