Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lonely Blue Christmas: P2 (2007)

P2 (2007)
rating: ***
starring: Rachel Nichols, Wes Bentley and Simon Reynolds

A story written by Alexandre Aja and directed by Franck Khalfoun, AKA the actor who played the gas stop guy who gets a fire axe swung into his gullet in Aja's Haute Tension. So that's two guys from the cult fave modern French Extreme, making a movie about a business woman trapped in a building parking garage during Christmas Eve and getting harassed by a lonesome security guard with a murderous psyche.

Looking at it, P2 has a very thin plot and a very direct approach as one long stalk-and-slash scene between Rachel Nichols' working woman character and Wes Bentley's (Dolan's Cadillac) love-struck psycho. There were some good kills along the way (which I'm thankful for their simplicity yet brutal nature in a year where torture porn's a big cash hype. I'm happy this one steps back a bit and just be gorily thrilling without the need of being nauseatingly torturous) and, for a movie that took place inside a parking lot, boasts a production value that looks stunning and well lit.

The only problem I see here is that, for a thriller-horror that only centers on two main character, they're very one-dimensional. Bentley's hinted to have some sort of mental or past issues but it's never explored and ends with him just being another sociopath turned psychopath. Same goes for Nichols' role which didn't have the same impact as any of the final girls in slasher films or thrillers like "While She was Out" or "I Spit on your Grave"; she's basically just a woman who wants to go home for the holidays, but held in against her own will. It should be able to relate, but both characters lacks anymore distinguished nature and makes up root and quiver in fear. In other words: paperthin.

Still, with nice pacing and an intense direction, I find it hard to reason why this film was so underrated. It's thrilling for the sake of thrill, and, by that, I call it a fair shot because it's honest of what it wants to be. P2's nowhere a cinematic masterpiece, but it's worth a look.

1 male repeatedly smashed against the wall with car
1 male found dead
1 dog stabbed and impaled with crowbar
1 male handcuffed to a leaking car and set ablaze
total: 4

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