Friday, December 13, 2013
P2 (A Shitmas Post from Manny of Mass Graves Pictures)
Here we are again, another year of Shitmas! Three years running, and going strong! It's become a tradition at this point for me to write a review, and this year I'm gonna do one I wanted to write since the first year, but saw others were already doing it: P2. It’s one of those movies I enjoy thoroughly, and can watch over and over again. The premise is so simple and classic, that it will be done over and over again, in many ways, for a long time to come; A victim trapped in a desolate location by a crazed maniac with no way of escaping. The difference here, which makes this so unique is that the location itself is far from desolate, yet the filmmakers found a way to keep the victim trapped.
After the first moments jump-scare of someone screaming in a locked trunk, we find our protagonist Angela (Rachel Nichols) leaving her office after working late, in the heart of Manhattan, on Christmas Eve. With her family awaiting her arrival, she calls to tell them she is leaving. They are skeptical as Angela has a history of cancelling on them. Assuring them she is leaving now, she heads to her car, on Parking Level 2 (the films namesake.) After a conversation with Karl the security guard, we know now the building is empty. Finally reaching her car, it won’t start. She now meets Thomas the parking garage security guard. Thomas, played by the brilliantly talented Wes Bentley, is the seemingly harmless guy who just wants to help. We attempt to jump her car, but nothing works.
Angela heads upstairs with all of her gift bags to the lobby, and calls a cab. When the cab arrives, the front doors to the building are locked, with Karl nowhere in sight to unlock them. She heads downstairs to the parking garage to exit that way, and now Thomas is nowhere to be found either, as the cab drives away. Soon, the lights are turned off and Angela is left to navigate in the dark with her cellphone. Enter our old friend Thomas, who appears behind Angela in the dark, covering her mouth with a rag (assuming soaked in chloroform) and knocking her out.
Angela now wakes up in Thomas’ security station, with place settings on the table in front of her, with Thomas in a Santa coat “cooking” dinner in the microwave for them. To add to the new circumstances, her leg is handcuffed to the table, and her clothes have been changed. She is now in a white dress that she looks AMAZING in. Even if you don’t enjoy this movie, just watching Nichols in the dress for the rest of the film is worth the price of admission. Even in the directors’ commentary, they discuss how the way she fills out the dress being better than the dress itself. So, there’s definitely that to look forward to. As if it wasn’t obvious, this is where we start to realize that Thomas is completely out of his mind, and is obsessed with Angela.
With the help of his Rottweiler, he proceeds to torment Angela for the next 90 minutes. From water in the elevator to watching him beat a man half to death preceding a spectacularly bloody car smashing, the tension doesn’t let up for a minute. While this may not feel like the most Christmas-y of all films, this is the way I like my holiday movies; tense, violent and filled with dread. It is on my Christmas-films-to-watch list every year, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet.