Parking garage's are pretty scary places. Despite being only steps away from your office or the mall, it's like being transported into a dark and grimy underworld full of shadows. The concrete walls are cold and without detail. Sounds bounce off of everything, especially footsteps, leading you to believe that someone may be following you. There are isolated spots where anyone or anything can be lurking, just waiting to grab you. It should be no surprise that parking garages have become the setting for a few horror movies.
P2 is a 2007 horror film starring Rachel Nichols (Alias, Conan The Barbarian) as Angela Bridges, an overworked businesswoman trying to see her family for Christmas dinner. She is the last to leave her Manhattan office and when she gets to her car on level P2, it won't start. She goes to the security office and meets a security guard named Thomas (Wes Bentley, American Beauty, The Hunger Games). She asks him to let her onto the elevator to go upstairs and call a cab, but he insists on trying to help start her car. Thomas also invites her to have Christmas dinner with him, but she rebuffs his invitation When that fails, he agrees to let her use the elevator. When her cab arrives, she discovers that she is locked in the building and the cab drives away. When she returns to the garage, someone grabs her from behind and knocks her out with chloroform. She awakens in the security office wearing a dress and chained to a table. Thomas confesses that he has been watching her via the security cameras and is in love with her. He takes Angela to a secluded part of the garage where he has tied up her co-worker, Jim. Jim drunkenly advanced on Angela at a party, but she later accepted his apology. Thomas, angry at Jim for forcing himself on Angela, viciously beats him with a flashlight before repeatedly hitting him with a car. Angela escapes and tries to use an elevator, but it flushed out by a fire hose from Thomas. She goes around smashing the security cameras while Thomas has to deal with two police officers. Will Angela be able to escape the parking garage?
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The biggest problem with P2 is that it's boring. Don't get me wrong, it's not one of those horror movies where nothing happens, like YellowBrickRoad. In fact, P2 has a lot of action and violence, it's just not particularly thrilling or entertaining. The movie is your average girl versus a stalker movie and we've seen that before. The real world setting of the parking garage does serve the movie well as it is believable and people have a genuine fear of them. P2 doesn't do enough character development in my mind which makes it feel so boring. We need to route for Angela to make it out alive and I never felt much connection with her. Part of the problem is making her a workaholic and not enough of a loving or caring person. I understand they were going with a connection between Angela and a lonely Thomas, but her character just felt too cold and distant. Most of the movie is your usual cat-and-mouse game seen in lots of other horror movies.
Wes Bentley's performance is very good and helps keep the movie from falling into a painful watch. His gleefully delirious Thomas is fun to watch as he is both vicious towards and hopelessly devoted to Angela. He wants to help her out of the car when she's hurt but then curses her when she leaves him. Rachel Nichols plays Angela well, I just think the character needed more layers for me to really cheer for her. Her cleavage deserved a supporting actress spot because it is prominently on display. P2 has a lot of violence and a surprising amount of gore. There was a scene where Angela fights Thomas's dog which I didn't like because I am not a fan of violence towards animals, especially when the scene is so vicious and bloody as this one was. The movie kept showing shots of “P2” painted on the walls of the garage, just in case we forgot the name of the movie. It's understandable because there is no real reason to remember it other than that's the level Angela's car is parked on.
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P2 has some good moments of violence and gore and good performances, but that's about it. There isn't much of a story and character development could have and should have been much better. It actually had a wide release in theaters and did horrendously, earning just over $2 million. While the movie is not horrendous, it just wasn't good. There is nothing special about it and no real entertainment.