Sunday, 21 December 2014

Holiday Horror: P2 (2007)

P2 (2007)
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Starring:  Rachel Nichols, Wes Bentley, and Simon Reynolds
Running Time: 98 min

  I remember seeing this when it came out and not being that crazy about it but I can't for the world of me remember why I felt that way.  Anyway, I thought I would watch it again over the holidays because it matches up with my Christmas criteria and it has director Franck Khalfoun, who went on to direct the remake of "Maniac", which I surprisingly enjoyed.  Also, it is co written by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Horns), whose work I also dig.  So why not give it another shot.

  It's Christmas eve and Angela is slogging through work, trying to get everything done before she leaves for her family's party.  It's getting late and she sends her secretary home, calls her sister to tell her that she is running late and even forgives the guy who tried to get rapey with her at the Christmas party, it's been a looooong day for her.  So, when she finally gets down to her car in P2 and it doesn't work, she is a little bit agitated.
  The doors are all electronically sealed to the main floor, so she has to head over to the security office with an armful of Christmas joy and ask the security guard, Thomas to open the doors.  He is happy to help her out and offers to give her car a boost.  She excepts but the car just doesn't seem to want to turn over.  She thanks Thomas and they head to the doors to go up to the lobby.  When they get there Thomas asks her if she would like to have supper with him, but Angela refuses and politely says maybe another time.
  Once in the lobby, Angela calls a cab and falls asleep waiting for the cab.  She is woken up by her phone and looks outside to see that the cab has arrived.  Unfortunately, when she tries to leave the building the electronic doors won't open.  Her friend Karl, the other security guard, isn't at his desk and she can't seem to buzz herself out. Dammit Technology!  She mimes to the cab driver to wait and runs downstairs to get Thomas to help her get out of the building.  Back in the parking garage, she sees the cab drive away and then all the lights go out in the lot.  She feels a hand grab her, put a cloth over her mouth, and then she passes out.
  When she wakes up, she is in a new party dress and seated at a table with Thomas who has dressed up as Santa.  She tries to run but she is chained to the table.  Thomas tells her to relax and all he wants to do is have supper with her.  Angela is scared and is afraid of what is going to happen next.  Can Angela escape this madman and make it home for Christmas or this the last supper that she is going to be celebrating, ever?

  This is better than I remember and has some good jump scares.  Director Franck Khalfoun (Maniac, Wrong Turn at Tahoe) actually does a nice job creating a very claustrophobic atmosphere and setting tension for this picture.  He uses the darkness of the parking lot to his advantage as well and allows the Thomas to slip in and out of the shadows seamlessly which adds to the overall creepiness of the film. 
  Although the cast is minimal, there is some heavy violence inflicted on some of these characters.  There is a scene with a man being mashed against a wall, that is very reminiscent of "High Tension" and an eye gouging scene that Argento or any Giallo director would die for.  This is more of a psychological thriller/horror but it can get seriously graphic at times, which is tremendously enjoyable.

  I wasn't crazy about the ending, I think what the Angela chacter does at the end isn't justifiable.  I think this changes her whole character and it doesn't sit that well with me.  **SPOILER** I think that killing an unarmed and incapacitated person, isn't what this character would have really done.  I think it was a bit of cop because they wanted an explosive and unforgettable ending but couldn't find one with compromising the character.  It would have worked better if Thomas accidentally did it to himself or there was a lunge for Angela to retaliate against but really she could have just walked away and kept her humanity. **ENDSPOILER**  Still, it was a good looking ending even though i felt it hurt the story and main character a bit.

  This was okay, it didn't knock my socks off but it still had some good moments that I found unnerving.  The story is simple, there are some good acts of violence and althoughI'm not crazy about the ending, at least it made sense. Kind of.  This is one of the better holiday horror films that I've run in to, so I hope it's on your under your tree as well.


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