Starring: Rachel Nichols (Angela Bridges), Simon Reynolds (Bob Harper), Wes Bentley (Thomas)
Year - 2007
Score - 2.5 Howls Outta 4
P2 is about some New York workaholic babe with huge breasts named Angela (Rachel Nichols) who stays at work late to get some work done on Christmas Eve, even though her family wants her home. She leaves her workplace last, since everyone went home already, only to find the area deserted. Not only that, but her car is now having engine problems and she has no means of going home. She's stuck in an underground parkage on level P2, where she meets some security guard named Thomas (Wes Bentley) who seems to have a crush on her. Tom likes Angela so much that he gives her some chloroform, strips her to the point where her cleavage steal the spotlight, and chains her to a chair so she can't escape. Sigh...love.
I had reservations about P2 before watching it. The trailers made it look extremely generic and predictable. It pretty much was released into theaters and taken right back out the next week [it had to compete with the annual Horrorfest films]. And no one really gave it a glowing review to make me want to rush out and see this. But I'm willing to watch anything once, so I gave it a shot. And surprisingly enough, I didn't think P2 was all that bad. Sure, it's extremely predictable and generic to the point where you can call out everything that will happen in the film, but it's done pretty well for the most part.
I think the whole P2 parking lot concept is pretty clever for a horror film. From what I can recall, it's never been done before in this extent and I never realized that parking lots can be creepy places to be at if a killer is hunting you down. I definitely found the whole isolation theme very chilling, especially when the film is mainly a two-actor show. Director Franck Khalfoun in his directorial debut did quite well, building tension in the very entertaining first hour of the film and visually showing why empty and dim parking lots are pretty creepy. I think he lost some of that momentum in the silly last half hour, but I enjoyed the visual style here.
The acting was very good in this film for the most part, which is good because the actors would either break or make this film. Rachel Nichols, who's known more for her TV work, definitely had my attention. Not because she had big tits, which I loved looking at, thank you. But because she played a believable victim. Her breakdown towards the middle of the film was realistic and I felt sorry for her. And of course, she becomes empowered and fights back, which I enjoyed as well. The character was pretty basic in nature, but Nichols did well with it. Wes Bentley, who has pretty much embarrassed himself in every film after AMERICAN BEAUTY [I'm talking about SOUL SURVIVORS and GHOST RIDER], redeems himself for the most part as the creepy and insane Thomas. I liked his charming, subtle act at the beginning, but he lost me at the end when he started whining like a little bitch. But at least he's finally starring in a more than decent film, so it's start.
There are issues I did have, however. I thought the film was WAY too predictable and generic. It's okay to use cliches and follow the conventional rules, but at least attempt to do something new with them. Not here. I also thought the final half hour was pretty dumb. The water in the elevator bit was pretty overboard and more laughable than anything. And the Thomas character really did some stupid things, like dance and impersonate Elvis Presley knowing his target is out there somewhere waiting to get her revenge. He was a pretty stupid villain, that's for sure. Also, the ending was kind of "just there", where I was expecting some kind of aftermath or something. Not a big issue but I wish there was more meat than bones during the finale.
The gore quotient was actually pretty decent though. Some dude gets rammed into a wall by a car multiple times, resulting in a grisly demise. Someone gets burnt to death. An animal gets it as well. Plus a fingernail gets ripped from a finger, which probably made me cringe more than anything else in this film. I know that shit hurt!
THE FINAL HOWL
P2 was a pleasant surprise. It's not perfect or remotely original, but it does enough to be pretty watchable and enjoyable. If you want to watch a pretty decent thriller, P2 wouldn't be a bad choice for a rental.