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Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's All in the Details...., January 10, 2013
This review is from: Storage 24 [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)

I saw a health-oriented film in my science class, and in it a bunch of US Navy sailors were shown prepping a meal, eating that meal, and then throwing up that meal--VERY vividly, given the average black and white instructional technology at work in an eighth grade science film of 1966. The purpose of the movie? To show the importance of keeping all food surfaces clean, particularly in this case, with WASHING. It has remained in my memory for almost half a century.

Why do I tell you all this now? Because the film stressed THE DETAILS of cleansing--how missing little things can cause utter chaos--in effect, bringing down the major working portion of a Navy destroyer.

I bring this up, because "Storage 24" is a movie that for all purposes has much going against it: a lack of recognizable stars, no known director, and no public "buzz." It showed up on one of my premium HD channels late at night, just as I was reaching for the remote and, shot by shot, it won me over. And all because of the little things.

From the opening frames--a silent pan across items in storage locker--the movie caught my eye because of its initial focus away from people and toward the physical items within the building, obviously denoting the fact that ONE of these items is going to be the focus of the movie. The slow, silent sweep of the camera was very effectively done, capturing my interest immediately.

From that point on, "Storage 24" accomplished much through the multiple elements of characterization, tension, surprise, and again, focusing on tiny elements that make the movie. As a comparison reference, think of a low-budget Super 8 (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

The characters who find themselves within the storage facility on this one particular day are victims of bad timing...a loud, singular explosion outside the building indicates that a downed airliner has caused massive problems for the area, damaging key elements of the facility and, worse, disrupting electrical circuits that govern its minimal technical capabilities.

This downed jet is key to the movie, but the focus is never on seeing the plane or going anywhere but within the facility. This is very important to the movie, and it is accomplished seamlessly by the electrical difficulties it causes. While we see some of the evidence--a jet engine has destroyed an employee's auto in the lot--it is important only because it freezes the location to the elements INSIDE the storage facility. From here on in the tale takes place within a set that is more typical to a play than a movie. And it does so very well.

It is here that characterization becomes vital, and it is here that the movie excels with its focus on minimization: we are given key elements of the personalities and issues which drive the characters. Nothing more. And it is this focus that makes us care--sometimes for one character, sometimes for another. And even more importantly the movie makes us turn on those characters, too, as the movie accomplishes twists and turns of our emotions based on things we learn about these people as the plot progresses. This is a key element, because a horror film really only succeeds if we are behind the people who drive the plot. Face it: in horror, we root for some characters to live, but we also root for some people to die, too...and that's very much what happens here.

Notice that I've told you almost nothing about the plot, and that's important, because the plot actually takes a kind of back seat here. Not that there isn't a plot; there is, but its minimalism helps the movie--and us--to focus on the terror soon to develop. And it helps the ending, too, which I will deliberately not spill (as usual). This is imperative, too, for reasons that will be made clear WHEN YOU SEE THE MOVIE. I'm not going to leak the ending, nor any of the interesting other twists...plot-wise, characterization-wise, or in any other way.

I will, however, leak this, because I liked this and may make you want to see the movie more: for once, the monster is something you CAN beat. We so often see vicious, threatening creatures that defy death, where time after time its invulnerability stymies the characters, and these movies can be tremendously frustrating for viewers...I'm never going to win, so why not just let the monster kill me and be done with it? Not so here: the monster is tough to kill, certainly, but it's not you have hope, and this is important, too.

One last important note: "Storage 24" has a low budget, as you'd expect of a movie that has a limited plot and setting, but it is so well made that it disguises this factor. The monster, who is actually VISIBLE throughout the movie--a nice change for once in a horror movie--is truly horrific, and well handled as to its believability. It not only survives assaults upon it, it survives close ups with the camera...a much tougher opponent, in fact.

Ably directed by Noel Clarke, who is the lead actor in the movie (and plays Mickey Smith in "Doctor Who"), "Storage 24" has a lot going for it. I think you'll like it if you give it a minute--literally. That should be all it needs to capture your interest.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 12, 2014 10:30:23 PM PDT
I just finished watching this film and I agree with you. It's a very well made film. Even the monster was not half bad, given the budget of the film. If there's one thing I would have changed, it would be not showing the monster too early (think the first Alien, they didn't really show the entire Alien until the end of the film). All of the actors were great, and you can see who's the real bad guy in the film as the movie progressed. I wish Noel will direct another sci-fi horror / survival film like this one. Very nice.
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