on February 16, 2008
First off, this is an easy movie to criticize. Most small budget horror flicks are. I mean, really, how much can a director do in a dimly lit parking ramp? Quite a bit, I found. Don't over-analyze and you're in for a good time.
This is the type of fun romp that originally got me interested in the genre while I was growing up in the '80s. There's no overly complex plot, amazing effects or numbing backstory here - just a psychotic guard, a mean dog, a killer Cutlass, a busty blonde, the chase and 85 minutes of run time. Think of it as Duel confined to an underground ramp and you pretty much have the basic concept. Convincing and talented performances by the two leads are just icing on the cake.
Obviously meant for a Christmas release (I can't find the reason why it was pushed back 11 months or pulled 1 ahead), this movie was rushed out of most Minneapolis-area theatres the week following its arrival. I had to scramble just to catch it on the big screen a second time. Yes, it's that good. In fact, I'd put it right up there with Grindhouse and 28 Weeks Later as one of the best horror releases of 2007. The blood splattered image of a hip-swivelling Wes Bentley miming "Blue Christmas" into a mop handle alone is worth the price of admission.
Tom (Wes Bentley) is a parking garage attendant. He's also a very lonely guy. He sets his sites on a girl who works in the high-rise office building above. Her name is Angela (Rachel Nichols) and she is the one for whom Tom has been waiting all of his life. His dream-girl. This could lead to a beautiful and touching love story. Fortunately, Tom is a madman w/ unnatural ideas about human relationships! It's Christmas time, and Tom has gathered up the courage to make his move. Alas, poor Angela isn't going to make it to the family x-mas party. She may not survive the night. P2 is a thriller that makes the best of it's limited location. Some inventive ideas help to heighten the tension while not being cliché. The elevator scene is a good example of this. I didn't foresee the tactic used by Tom in order to get Angela out of the lift! It was brilliant and different! Unlike movies such as REST STOP, this one has interesting interaction between the killer and his victim. It also has actual suspense and a woman who uses her grey matter for more than just skull filler! Angela is no dummy! She utilizes whatever she can get a hold of to battle for her survival. Tom is dangerous and pitiful at the same time. His mental ups and downs are jarring without being ridiculous. P2 is a fabulous late-night's entertainment...
A deserted parking garage. A young woman working late. A sociopathic parking attendant. Put these three elements together and you have one chilling horror flick that is just a bit too real for comfort.
Who among us has never felt that slight prickling of fear when you suddenly realize you are alone in a darkened garage - just enough trepidation to cause you to pick up your gait a bit as you hurry to the imagined safety of your car?
Working late Christmas Eve, Angela rushes to her car as she tries to salvage what is left of a holiday evening with her family. One thing after another happens, and poor Angela is stranded in a locked building, her only companion a slightly creepy parking attendant, Tom.
But Tom is more than slightly creepy - he is a veritable lunatic, and he has set his sights on Angela. Soon Angela's situation turns dire as she finds herself not only stranded, but in a battle for her very life as Tom gives full reign to his madness.
Although she is used to being taken advantage of in her day-to-day life, both in business and her personal life, when the chips are down Angela is no one's victim, and she does whatever it takes to stay alive.
While `P2' is fairly predictable in its plot, it doesn't lessen the effectiveness of it, not one whit. You'll still jump in your seat at each new heinous act the villainous Tom commits. Predictable it may be, but this is one undeniably entertaining film.
What I liked best about `P2' is that there is some logic to the plot. I cannot abide horror films that expect a suspension of disbelief without supporting the unbelievable aspects of the story, such as a killer who seemingly can't be killed. Such is not the case with `P2'. Every action, every reaction is grounded in reality. I can imagine this actually occurring. While Tom may be two steps ahead of Angela through most of the film, he is definitely not indestructible, and Angela soon turns the tide against him.
Add to that a heroine who never once suffers from the `too-stupid-to-live' syndrome, but instead grabs hold of her destiny with both handcuffed hands and wrests her freedom from the man who would take both her liberty and her life, and you have my kind of movie.
I have to say, having watched `P2', I am very grateful I don't have to park in a parking garage very often. I have a feeling that I will not be at ease in one for quite some time.
Angela Bridges (Rachel Nichols) is ambition and hardworking and is quickly rising through the executive branches of the office she works at. She's also a serious workaholic who is single and, other than the security guards, finds herself as the last person in the building on Christmas Eve. After calling her sister to let her know that she is finally on her way to the family Christmas party, Angela prepares to leave the building. However, when she finally gets to her car on P2, it won't start. Thomas (Wes Bentley) offers his assistance, but seems unable to get the car to started. Thomas invites Angela to a Christmas dinner, but Angela is already late and turns down the offer. However, as Angela soon learns, the offer really wasn't optional and Thomas was just being polite and nice. Angela will share in his Christmas dinner whether she really wants to or not and maybe if she's nice and polite she might escape from P2 and get home for Christmas.
Taking place almost completely in the confines of a parking garage (the movie was filmed exclusively at night in a real parking garage in Toronto), starring two relatively unknown actors, and a plot that is basically just a complex game of cat and mouse, there's a great deal about P2 that could have gone wrong. Yet, the film actually works. Since SCREAM, many suspense and horror films have taken themselves way too seriously and pretend that they have some great message to deliver, have a lot of "allusions" that you'll get if you're a film fan, or promise to bring the genre to the next level. P2 doesn't have any allusions. It knows that it is simply a horrific suspense film based around a film that many people, woman in particular, have actually had at one point in their lives. Rachel Nicholas gives a great performance (and is quite nice on the eyes, too) and will probably be a top-tier actress in the next few years. Wes Bentley is perhaps best known for his work in AMERICAN BEAUTY also gives a performance to solidify himself as a rising star, too (as long as he isn't type-cast as the psychotic villain).
Overall, P2 is a suspense film that doesn't fail to deliver.
on May 10, 2013
A good suspenseful thriller. First off, in full disclosure, I would give a movie with Rachel Nichols simply standing around waiting for a bus 3 stars. Is why I took a gander at this seemingly formulaic flick in the first place. That said, the movie held up its end of the bargain and I had a good time with the watch, so I will bump it up a star.
The stalker guy was one of those characters that will linger - of all the creeps running about in the movies I see this one will linger. Played well, added to the movie, not just a dummy with a dumb plan (even though he did indeed have a dumb plan) Even had a quip that had me laughing aloud, which came as a surprise. As with any movie in this genre (well, heck, any movie of any genre, it seems) there was a lot of lapses in logic, but movies are escape, even ones not about escape like this one is.
A couple of deaths and some cringe worthy moments at that, but by all means not a splatterfest. Like the stalker in the film should be remembered once the credits roll, there are a couple of scenes that will linger as well. Thats a good thing. Even the "Christmas" motif fits. The only complaint I have is that by the end I was ready for it to end. Running around in a dark parking garage gets long in the tooth after a while, and if the main character did not look like Rachel Nichols while doing so I may not have been so patient with it.
Ending was predictable but fitting (the back cover of the DVD pretty much gives it away as if we could not figure it out once we read the premise of the movie) and once it was done i considered it time well spent. Oh, and also, it does not seem like the stalker guy thought this out very well...I have no idea what his end game would have been. Finally, that parking garage really needs to do better background checks. I smell quite a lawsuit here. In conclusion, I would watch it again, I would recommend it to others, and I toast this one.
It's Christmas Eve, and beautiful, young businesswoman Angela (Rachel Nichols) is the last person to leave the Manhattan office building in which she works. As she makes the lonely, nerve-racking walk through a dark and eerie parking garage to her car, something is not right. When the car doesn't start, everything goes downhill for Angela. The only other person around, the seemingly extremely helpful and friendly parking attendant Thomas (Wes Bentley), proves to be no help at all. In fact, Thomas is the whole problem. Madly infatuated with Angela, he is determined to keep her under his wing for as long as it takes to prove his love to her, no matter what that requires.
Directed by co-writer Frank Khalfoun and produced by co-writer Alexandre Aja (of "High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes fame), and also co-written by Gregory Levasseur, "P2" (which is NOT a sequel of any kind, despite the "2") sounds like your run of the mill psycho stalker/slasher flick with the added tension of the all too familiar, unfriendly parking garage setting. It is, however, far better than that. "P2" is another Alexandre Aja style tour de force of madness and tension. The performances are the driving force, and the two young actors, who are the only two people in the majority of the picture, are fantastic! Rachel Nichols is commanding and beautiful as the intelligent, victimized woman relentlessly fighting back against her psychotic captor, and Wes Bentley is delightfully demented as the Elvis fan who is too romantic for his own good. Even knowing how the film plays out, this is one you can watch more than once, and the great Christmas music from Elvis Presley and Eartha Kitt only makes it better. If you're a fan of horror/survival flicks, beautiful girls wonderfully filling out slinky dresses and wielding weapons (great cover on this DVD, by the way), corpses spilling intestines, and some very entertaining villains, this is one you should pick up! Especially if you're familiar with the unpleasant parking garage experience. I hate those places! My only complaint is that these movies always make the quiet, lonely guys total psychos that beautiful people have to "deal" with to get on with their beautiful lives. For the record, they are quite often the nicest guys out there, but hot girls love bad boys with big mouths, don't they?
Anywho, this DVD comes with the usual, fair selection of extras for a single disc release. You've got your trailer, a decent commentary with the writing, producing, directing trio of filmmakers, and three featurettes on the making-of which mainly feature interviews with the filmmakers and cast. Pretty good supplements and a great film presented in anamorphic widescreen; far better than what one would expect from the genre. Well worth the purchase!
on November 16, 2013
It's Xmas Eve, and all the office workers have gone home, except for one young lady who is running late. Finally making it to the near-deserted garage, there is still something that stops her from leaving - an unhinged security guard that does not make her Xmas bright. With a good script, capable actors and constant thrills it does not disappoint. (Not for young children.)
on March 26, 2011
P2 isn't destined for "Classic" status but it is a solid movie that I will end up watching several times over the years. It's a little gory in parts but I wouldn't label this "horror". This is your classic psychological thriller albeit a very basic one. There is not much depth to the characters.
What really impressed me was how simplistic the story is - and I mean that as a compliment. I'm pleased that the director did not bring in a B-story to augment this movie. Over-complicating this movie would have negatively impacted the end result. The story is kept to one location lasting a few hours. The pacing - especially in the first 30 minutes - could have been improved but the last 45 minutes does not disappoint.
The acting was top-notch. Rachel Nichols really runs the gamut of emotions throughout this film. She nails the nuances that makes her character believable - the facial expressions, the pauses in dialogue, the quivering voice all enhanced the movie.
Wes Bentley was amazing. He was every bit the delusional psychopath needed for this story. One second he was tender and caring and the next he was an out-of-control screamer....and he pulled it off without being silly.
So - good acting, simple story, small cast. All that results in a very likable and entertaining film.
on January 8, 2010
Yeah, so the HD DVD version of P2 was supposed to have not released. Good news? It leaked out and is worth it for the few of you that both like Horror movies and collect HD DVD's. Basically, the story of a woman stalked through a parking structure of her workplace by the security guard on Christmas Eve. It lends itself to some crazy moments in the movie and it was easily very underated as a film as the storyline is well written as the acting was very well done. One of the best things about the film is that most of the stuff that happens is very believable to boot. The quality of the HD DVD is very nice as the picture is clean and clear and the sound screams through your stereo system. The disc has some really nice extras as well. I'd recommend it for those of you that enjo0y obscure format movies as P2 is one of those that will end up being quite rare later on as not many of the HD discs were made. Excellent film in an excellent format, it's worth the purcahse.
on December 24, 2013
Angela Bridges is a hardworking executive businesswoman who stays late on Christmas Eve to close one more deal before the holidays. As she shuts down for the night and heads to her car, she unfortunately finds out that it won't start. She receives some assistance from the lonely parking security guard, Thomas, who calls a taxi for her, before asking her to have Christmas dinner with him. She kindly declines and waits in the lobby for the taxi. When it arrives, she discovers that she's locked in the lobby and scurries back to the parking garage, where she's chloroformed and kidnapped by Thomas.
She later comes to, chained to a chair in Tom's security office, now dressed in a white dress in high heels. Other than discovering that Tom is a mentally unbalanced, lonely man who's had a crush on her for awhile; she also finds out that he's been watching and following her every move on the CCTV security camera for quite some time as well.
Angela soon becomes involved in a murderous game of cat and mouse that involves her fighting for her life to not only escape the clutches of the psychopathic and obsessive Thomas, but to live to see Christmas Day and her family.
Overall: Although this is your typical thriller movie about an obsessive stalker with a love interest who's snapped, it's an entertaining one nonetheless that's sure to keep you watching until the end. Some may find most of a movie taking place in a parking garage to be boring, but I think it's clever. Being locked in a parking garage at night with the only people in it being you and a psycho is not only creepy but makes for a perfect and decently interesting thriller plot. The grade A acting skills of Rachel Nichols and Wes Bentley make it even more entertaining, especially from Wes, who plays the psycho role almost TOO well! 5/5 from me and a recommended Christmas thriller to enjoy during the Christmas season