Newest Review: ... lurk around every pillar and I find myself walking hurriedly or even sometime running to the safety of my car. The thought of being trapped... more
I'll be home for Christmas...or then again!
Member Name: Jojoborne
Advantages: Mild entertainment for a rainy night in.
Disadvantages: May not be stimulating enough for some appetites.
P2 - DVD
I have always liked to trudge through low budget movies because sometimes you find a gem. More often than not you end up turning off half way through but sometimes you find a little movie that gains you interest and is enough to warrant an hour and a half of your attention.
P2 is one of those movies. It is certainly not a gem but neither is it pure B-movie dross.
The reason for this is that the two main actors know what they are doing and manage to pull it off. The dynamic between then is believable but saying that you don't get as involved with the psychopath in the movie as much as you would like to. The direction isn't too bad either given the small budget of the movie, which was eight million dollars.
Angela (Rachel Nichols) is working late on Christmas Eve. Her workload is getting her down but her drive to get to the top of the corporate ladder is keeping her going. However, she would like to get away to spend Christmas with her family at her sisters. She has rented a Santa Suit to surprise her sister's kids with on Christmas Eve night and assures her sister that she will not be late. She chats with the likeable security guard from her building as they catch an elevator together. They wish each other a good holiday period as Angela steps out onto parking level two or 'P2' of the buildings parking area. She turns the ignition key in her car and it doesn't start. Making her way back up to the elevator she finds the door to the elevator foyer is locked. Cursing, she makes her way to the parking lot security office and speaks to the security guard, Thomas (Wes Bentley) and asks if he can open the door to the foyer for her. He says he will but offers to charge her battery for her with his charger. This doesn't work and he leads her to the foyer and opens the door for her. Angela rings for a taxi and waits in the foyer of the main building. The taxi pulls up and the driver rings her as she has nodded off while waiting. She waves to the driver and is dumbfounded when she finds the main doors locked. She asks the taxi driver to wait and makes her way back down in the elevator. On her way to the office she hears the taxi beep his horn and sees him drive away through the locked metal mesh gates of the parking lot. A hand grabs her from behind and a handkerchief covers her mouth and she passes out. She wakes up in a dress, chained to a chair and sitting at a dinner table with Christmas decorations and all the trimmings. What follows is a fight for her life as Angela escapes the impromptu dinner date and is pursued by a psychopath while trapped in the dark and December cold parking lot.
I have seen a few reviews on this movie across the internet and although most of them are a fair representation of it I feel that a lot of people have missed the point. They describe the psychopath as too likeable at first and then complain when he unrealistically turns into a madman. For me that is what he is all about and that is exactly the sort of impression a psychopath would make. At first he would be likeable and eager to please; if a little weird and then he would become frustrated when he could've achieve his goal of Angela liking him. He would eventually become hateful and driven by his desire to make her see what he wanted.
It is not a new concept by any means and this kind of movie are a dime a dozen to coin an American phrase, seeing as I am reviewing an American movie. However, I like the fact that it is a simple movie that requires no effort to watch. You can just kick back and be entertained and for a movie of this type it is indeed rather entertaining. It won't break any box office records and indeed only made back half of its budget at the cinema but I think it deserves to break even with video sales as it is one of those movies to sit on a Saturday night with and indulge in a bit of fun.
Rachel Nichols plays the part of Angela really well and I liked her pretty much from the beginning. It is a bit of a cheap shot from the director to have her masquerading around in a very low cut dress for most of the movie and if there was an award for cleavage of the year in film, then I think Rachel would've won it hands down. That aside, she does play a good part. Another complaint in many reviews is that she goes towards danger when she should run or that she makes wrong decisions. Again the point has been missed as that is the main mind set of this kind of movie. The part is written for her to make stupid decisions and to do things we wouldn't normally do. If she just ran away, then we wouldn't be left with much of a movie now would we? Many of you will know Rachel Nichols from TV series such as 'Criminal Minds' and 'Continuum'. She has also starred as Gaila in 'Star Trek' and has recently starred in such movies as 'Conan' and 'Alex cross'. I like her as an actress and she reminds me a little of Bridgett Fonda. She also has a bit of a younger Jodie Foster in her too.
Wes Bentley needs no introduction and plays the part of the psychopath with zeal and determination. I'm sure Mr Bentley wouldn't mind me saying that he is well suited to this type of role and it is indeed meant as a compliment. He is most known for and first came to prominence in his role in 'American Beauty', alongside Thora Birch and Kevin Spacey. He has also recently starred in the major movie production of 'The Hunger Games'. I like this actor a lot and think he is underrated. He has that deep, dark look about him that makes him look like he is somewhere else, a little like Jake Gyllenhaal. It is the perfect look to have if you're going to play a psychopath and he pulls it off in this movie. Wes comes out with some funny lines in the movie, particularly after murdering someone and whispering 'Way to ruin Christmas asshole'.
It is a thriller movie first and foremost but there are a few sickening scenes in it that could give it a run in the horror genre. There is a scene to look out for with a man tied to a chair and a car; well gruesome and one of the old favourites is always a pen and an eye.
The director of the movie is Franck Kalhoun and he didn't do a bad job on this his first real, all out movie, which was released to cinema in 2007. The DVD followed in 2008. The movie was well shot on its small budget and was primarily filmed in a real parking lot in Toronto, Canada. Kalhoun has since directed 'Wrong Turn at Tahoe', starring Cuba Gooding Jnr and 'Maniac' to be released around Christmas this year, starring Elijah wood. This movie is gaining some hype amongst movie fans as it is shot from Elijah's character's perspective and he plays his reflection with a body double to play the opposite hands, which all sounds rather intriguing.
Like I have said, it is not a brilliant movie that will have you raving and recommending it to all your friends but it is a likeable movie and one that I found entertaining. I had no illusions about what to expect as I knew it was small budget but it surprised me in actually being a lot better than I thought it would be. You may like it and you may not, depending on your bag but it is certainly worth a go, especially if you're a fan of a good old thriller or low budget movies that makes no pretense about their content.
The DVD is available on the cheap from Amazon, eBay and other online DVD stockists. The standard version is the only version available in UK with trailer and some minor extras. The US region 1 version is available as a Widescreen edition.
Summary: Be careful where you keep your car, you never know who might be watching!