Monday, August 30, 2010

A Week of "P" Movies: P2

I know I'm getting into the next week with this post here, but I had to get P2 on my blog somewhere.

It's a divisive movie among horror fans and I sort of understand why. I'm on the side that really likes the movie. I would think more guys would like this movie... the whole poster is just of her boobies. Don't men like boobies?

The "here's what it's about" paragraph: On Christmas Eve, Angela is working late at her swanky office building, trying to get done so she can go to her sister's house. When her car won't start and she can't get out of the building to get a cab, she's abducted by the night security guard, Thomas. He says he just wants some company for Christmas, but Angela realizes that he's not all there and has to find a way to get out of this parking garage alive. Rachel Nichols plays Angela and Wes Bentley's eyebrows play the madman Thomas.

I'd like to give a through-the-Internet
fist bump to Alex Aja. 
P2 was the brain child of gore-meister Alexandre Aja and some other dudes. Completely different from his other films but that's awesome. P2 is more simplistic and atmospheric, while it does have a touch of gore just for fun. I like the casting of Rachel Nichols because she is one of the only actresses who looks like a normal person. Pretty, but not insanely hot, therefore I like her and her character. Wes Bentley I only knew from American Beauty so when I first saw the movie, I wasn't sure how I would feel about him playing a psycho, and playing it believably. He's a little young for role, maybe, but on the whole his random crazy outbursts and sweet-boy face that can instantly turn into mean-boy face actually worked for me.

After Angela wakes up from Thomas drugging her with chloroform, we get a very creepy scene of Thomas's Christmas dinner romancing thing he's set up for her. It's a good surprise moment when Angela, feeling sick, falls out of her chair and we see that her ankle is chained to the table leg. Then when he makes her call her sister to say she won't be able to make it to the family gathering, Thomas stands behind her, grabbing and caressing her neck and chest and it's almost torture to watch her try to keep her composure. Why she doesn't just yell out something like "I'm still at work, HELP!" is beyond me. But then we wouldn't have a movie, would we?

He's right behind you, dipshit.
I have to give the filmmakers credit for making a movie set in an underground parking garage and being able to keep the action different and interesting. I think of those places as just big, open spaces. Creepy, yes, with the shadowed corners and echoing noises, but there's not much to them. P2 gives us something unexpected at every turn. Angela tries hiding in an elevator, which Thomas fills with water. The touch of gore comes in when Angela stabs Thomas in the eye and when Thomas rams a guy strapped to a chair into a wall with his car and his intestines spill out. Niiiiiice. A game of vehicular chicken shows Angela's horrible driving skills but leads us to a great conclusion to the film.

This movie even includes the absolute one thing that I hate seeing in movies which is somebody's FINGERNAIL BEING RIPPED OFF. I don't even want to look for a picture of it because I can't fucking stand that shit. Chop off their heads, pull out their guts, put them in a meat grinder, I don't care. Just don't show somebody's fingernail popping off. Even if the fingernail thing is a POSSIBILITY, I don't want to see it. Like one of those scenes where someone's being dragged and they're all scraping at the floor and walls - that's enough to get me squirming in my seat. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I'm telling you, those eyebrows
are out of control.
And get this: there's an evil dog in the movie, and Angela actually kills it. They break one of the unwritten rules of films - you can't kill dogs. Kill as many humans as you like, but once Fido gets it, the audience will fucking hate you. "Yeah, but what if it's an evil dog who tries to eat you?" Eh, still a little iffy. There's usually some asshole in the movie who's going to say, "He's just a defenseless animal!! How could you do that??!!" To this, I say, Defenseless? My ass. Eighty pounds of muscle and sharp-sharp teeth hardly constitutes as defenseless.

Most reviews call Wes Bentley's performance, and the film overall, comedic. You can tell me that all you want and I still won't believe it. I think Bentley's reputation as the weird kid from American Beauty helped him in making Thomas more menacing. He doesn't actually hurt Angela in any way, but rather keeps getting in her way of escaping. His character is not meant to be a knife-wielding psycho. He is simply a cunning foe who knows the location better than our heroine, therefore he has one up on her. I sincerely believe that Thomas does not want to kill Angela. He has murderous tendencies, obviously, but perhaps he will only keep her locked up in his office for a few days instead of killing her. That wouldn't be so bad, would it? I'm sure he has plenty of frozen dinners to eat, Angela, and maybe you'll come to think of his dorky Elvis impersonations as, well... kind of cute. Or maybe not.

I give the movie props for trying something new that could have come off as cheesy and ridiculous. Some people still say that it is cheesy and ridiculous... and implausible and laughable and all kinds of other mean words but I say they're wrong. I like P2 and I don't care what you think!

The film also gets points for reemphasizing the fact that calling a woman the "c" word is never a good idea. Burn him, girlfriend!


  1. Underrated horror/thriller film. I like this one and wish it had done better at the box office. Great performances and the tension and atmosphere was better than what I was expecting out of this. Great review. Pretty funny as well.

  2. I ignored this one when it was first released, but I recently caught a preview of it on another DVD. I wondered if I had made a mistake, and your write-up is strengthening that suspicion. When my stack o' movies to watch gets smaller, "P2" will be added to it.

    (BTW, while men do like boobies, some of us don't much like Torture Porn. That's what this movie seemed like based on the original marketing I saw.)

  3. I LOVED this movie it's one of my favorites. What I love about this movie is where it took place, in a parking garage where a lot of people go to so that makes it scary cause this is most likely to happen then Freddy Krueger coming after you.

    The reason why it didn't do very well at the box office is because it came out during the holiday season and no one wants to watch a horror/thriller during Christmas time, don't know why cause that's what I prefer :D plus this isn't a torture porn movie cause he doesn't torture her in the way like the real torture porn movies. Great post!

  4. Ha, I picked this up the other day at the DVD shop and was like 'This looks good' to which my wife replied, 'What, her boobies look good?'

    Needless to say, we didn't get it out, but now with some online support of the film, there's a solid chance.

    Probably the best thing about horror bloggers is they review everything, so films get a chance to be seen that don't have huge marketing to inform potential viewers. P2 was never released in cinemas here in Oz, and so far I've only ever seen the one copy in one of three shops. Yet there's 12 copies of 'Mega Shark V Giant Octopus'. WTF?

  5. otis rampaging heterosexualityAugust 30, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. For the two of you who haven't watched it yet, I urge you to give P2 a chance! Honestly, you might hate it - like I said, it's divisive - but it might also be that little gem you've been waiting for.

    @Steve: Don't believe whatever marketing you saw. P2 is probably the farthest thing from torture porn out there.

    Glad there's so much support out there for this movie.

  7. this is an absolutely ok movie, nothing special, just ok.

  8. I thought this was decent, but I found the Wes Bentley character annoying and not really believable. I am looking forward to the prequel "P1", and the prequel to that, "P0", and the prequel to that "P(-1)". Maybe at that point, Wes' backstory will be fleshed out to the point where I'll buy his character :P