(1 out of 5 stars)
A movie’s title is very important. It’s what grabs the viewers’ attention and leads — or misleads — them right into the theater. Something tells me that first-time director Franck Khalfoun doesn’t understand this, hence the title of his new film, “P2.” If there ever was an award for worst title, “P2” would definitely be a contender. Not too surprisingly, the movie reflects the quality of its title: a cliché ridden, unimaginative mess that’s not worth your time.
Angela Bridges (Rachel Nichols) is a young, hard-working executive, to a fault. Even on Christmas Eve, when she’s supposed to meet up with family, she stays late at work. As she heads to her car after a night in the office which, you guessed it, is on level P2, the lights go out. In the darkness, parking attendant Thomas (Wes Bentley) kidnaps her. She awakes in his office, where he tells her he wants her to stay for companionship. Panicked, Bridges escapes, but Thomas has locked her in the building, keeping her confined to the four levels of the parking garage.
There is one good thing I can say about “P2” and that’s the story’s set up. It doesn’t take long for the building to clear out, leaving Bridges alone with Thomas. At first that seems like a good thing, since most horror films spend too much time developing characters that will die some 40 minutes later. However, with the set-up quickly out of the way, “P2” has a lot of time to spend on the supposed story.
“P2” is a film that will test your patience. The two characters talk, and talk, and run around the parking garage, and talk and then run around some more. It moves by so slow that you’d swear you were watching a 10-hour long epic, not a 90-minute piece of garbage.
“P2” drags because of its absurd plot. There isn’t enough content to sustain a single episode of “The Twilight Zone,” let alone a feature-length film. The story is so weak the director is forced to use standard horror clichés as filler. If you see “P2,” you may see more of the ceiling than you will of the film, from rolling your eyes at the unbelievably terrible thrills and gore. The closest the film comes to entertainment is a scene where Bridges is trapped in an elevator and Thomas tries to get her out by flooding it with a fire hose. Yep, that is the closest “P2” comes to resembling anything entertaining: flooding an elevator.
As if it weren’t already laughably bad, some of the events are downright impossible. Characters exhibit Hulk-like strength, smashing out windows with hardly any effort. Thomas has super-human speed, running across the parking garage faster than The Flash could ever dream of.
Even more painful to endure are the attempts made by Nichols and Bentley to act. It quickly becomes clear that Nichols is supposed to be a wannabe Lindsay Lohan, and she does her best to emulate the pop star, but fails miserably.
This has been a rough year on horror films. Some of the year’s worst movies have come from the genre and “P2” is no exception.