@ventspleen2014 parks his car and heads for the attendants booth to review the Festive Horror flick P2. Uhuh thank you very much!
It seems that the horror genre is not immune to the killer seasonal virus that lands every year in our cinemas and even in our homes. I’m talking about that deadliest of plagues. The Christmas film (Boo Hiss it’s behind you) This time of year every Tom, Dick and Rudolph is bringing out some sort of thriller, comedy or romance that could be set at any time of year but is set during the Christmas holidays. This is a ham fisted attempt to prise more candy coated money from our sweaty paws! Yes some films are very much top notch timely ones (Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, Gremlins) but some are just not. Equally the same applies within the dark world of horror. Whilst Gremlins and Black Christmas are great, no, exceptional examples of really great Christmas Ho Ho Horror there are also the cynical cash ins, Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman lumbers into view! Hideous, derivative and just one example of the bargain bin load of films that just don’t make the cut!
With this in mind when I come to review a new (to me anyway) horror film its always a worry as to what group its going to slide into. P2 is, at least at the outset, is your standard “woman in peril” scenario. Angela Bridges (Rachel Nichols) is a hard working business woman based in a downtown, Manhattan complex. Forced to stay late on Christmas Eve she finds herself stranded with a car that wont start. Thomas (Wes Bentley), the Car Park attendant, offers to help out and also extends an invitation to Christmas dinner. Angela refuses and waits for a taxi to pick her up as she has a family party to attend. What follows is a subterranean nightmare in which Thomas (finally cracking from endless Christmas spent alone) drugs her and forces her to sit down to a festive feast. The cat and mouse game that ensues between Angela and Thomas is brilliantly staged and horrifically claustrophobic.
P2 (named after the parking level Angela’s car is located at) is a well paced and totally immerse horror thriller. Writer/ Director Franck Khalfoun pulls out all the stops to deliver to his audience a very welcome addition to the genre. Rachel Nichol’s performance as Angela is strong, feisty and believable, whilst Wes Bentley as Thomas is neurotic and at the same time pitiful. Here is a man who has been driven over the edge by loneliness and obsession. The scenes in which he croons along to the Elvis hit “Blue Christmas” is brilliant but also scary in its level of lunacy. It always amuses me that with the mobile phone technology as it is no one in peril ever seems to be able to get a signal. Its almost like the killers check out the number of bars they get before deciding which location to choose!
That aside, P2 is a welcome inclusion to the rivetingly brilliant Festive Horror film category and one i would recommend you watch!
Photos courtesy of 10-pint-movies.com, nymoviereviews.com, filmscoremonthly.com
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