Review by Jack Foley
THE best thing that can be said about Franck Kalfoun’s P2 is that at least it’s not a remake. In most other respects, however, it’s another lame entry into the overworked horror genre that squanders the best efforts of a decent cast and a premise with potential.
The P2 of the title refers to an underground parking level and it’s where dedicated officer worker Angela Bridges (Rachel Nichols) finds herself trapped by pyschotic Thomas (Wes Bentley) on Christmas Eve.
Tom is the car park attendant who has developed a secret obsession with Angela and, after drugging her and dressing her in a sexy white dress, wants nothing more than to share a Christmas supper in her company.
Understandably, Angela wants none of it and must find a way to escape her captor and his dog before the full extent of his madness becomes unleashed.
For the most part, Kalfoun’s movie functions as a psychological cat-and-mouse between captor and captive. And it’s a halfway decent effort on those terms.
But once Bentley’s motives become clear and he turns murderous upon one of Angela’s office colleagues who got too friendly in a lift, the film shifts gears and veers off course badly.
The violence becomes unnecessarily gruesome and the scenarios increasingly strained, so that the limitations of the premise are evident for all to see.
By the time Bentley starts singing karaoke to Elvis Presley the film has lost all grip on logic or sanity and Kalfoun feels like he’s struggling to justify even the 98 minute running time.
Performance-wise, Nichols does well as the feisty heroine, mixing terror with determination to convincing effect and laying down some pretty convincing markers for future opportunities. But Bentley is short-changed by some lame character development that cannot prevent his Thomas from emerging as anything other than laughable.
Director Kalfoun, meanwhile, fails to sustain the tension needed to keep things from becoming a bore and then tries to compensate with some nasty lashings of violence. The end result is an unconvincing horror experience that you can’t wait to escape from yourself.
Running time: 1hr 38mins
UK DVD Release: September 29, 2008