P2 - DVD Review

P2 is one of those (all too frequent nowadays I’m afraid) horror movies where after about 30 minutes (maybe less!) you roll your eyes, make yourself comfortable and prepare to snooze your way through the remainder of a plot which makes My Little Pony look threatening.

When a horror film isn’t scary then it fundamentally fails to fulfil its entire reason for existence. P2 manages to fail not just overall, as a horror experience, but on multiple levels in the routes that its various facets take. The choice of threat for example is Wes Bentley and a rather large dog. Now the dog I can understand but Bentley proved that when he attempts to do scary he actually does funny in Ghost Rider so the choice of casting him and introducing him to us in a jolly red Santa outfit does seem a little strange to say the least.

Then there’s the location. Parking Garages are innately scary features of the landscape; they’re permanently dark, claustrophobic and have windy corridors of stairs that smell faintly (or strongly depending on your City of choice) of someone’s pee. But P2’s parking lot provides numerous safe havens (a view of the outside world, jolly Christmas lights, a well lit lift, corridor and stairwell) which, although they are all penetrated in some way in the end by Bentley, ensure you’re never fully convinced our heroine (Rachel Nichols) is trapped ‘within’ this world.

I’d go on here to talk about the lack of tension or the mistaken belief which perpetrates a few films that gore = scary but to be honest I’m getting a bit sleepy just thinking back to my viewing experience. If you have a burning desire to see a scary car park revist Fincher’s curiously over-looked follow-up to Seven, The Game. The car park scene here, which lasts less than 5 minutes, is infinitely more justifiable as a horror film than the entire 98 minutes of P2.

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