12/17/2016

P2 (Review)

Title: P2
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Writers: Franck Khalfoun, Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur
Cast: Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols, Simon Reyonlds, Philip Akin
Year: 2007
Min: 98

It is Christmas Eve and Angela (Rachel Nichols), a young and beautiful business woman working in Manhattan, NY, is ready to head to her family's house for the holidays She soon realizes that her car isn't working. She asks the parking attendant, Thomas (Wes Bentley), for some help. Unfortunately, nothing seems to be going her way. She is trapped inside the parking garage with and by Thomas who has a sick obsession with her. His violent, psychotic behavior terrifies her, and this Christmas Eve becomes a fight to escape with her life.
P2 is slow building and nail-biting, suspenseful, horror/ thriller. This sometimes overlooked movie really ranks among the best of the Christmas horror movies. Though simple in its structure and nature, it succeed thanks to tense directing and excellent acting.
Co-writer and director Franck Khalfoun slowly but surely builds on the tension. The movie increasingly keeps you on the edge, as it builds to the exciting and rousing climax. The use of the holiday of Christmas is great because it adds to making her ordeal of being trapped by him alone very real and believable. This is upped by choosing the parking garage as the setting of the film, which can be by their very nature desolate and creepy. That being said, we New Yorkers will wonder why she drives to work and not takes public transportation. In fact, this movie reaffirms my desire to never drive to the city!.
While, there is not a huge body count, it is very violent and bloody. The first kill in particular is gruesome and realistic looking, thank to the excellent make-up FX. The movie's gruesome violence helps to raise the stakes and me it more shocking and white-knuckle experience.
Besides the nerve-shredding directing and excellent setting, the other true highlight is the acting. For the most part, the movie is a two person movie. And, you need excellent acting for this to truly work. Thank goodness then that both Wes Bentley and Rachel Nichols deliver this in droves. Bently is terrifying and creepy as fuck. On the drop of the dime he can realistically go from sweet to dangerously angry and threatening. But, even when he is being "nice" there remains an air of total creepiness. It's my favorite role of his.
Just like the role of Angela is my favorite of Rachel Nichols. In fact, she is one of my favorite final girls ever. Nichols plays her so believably and strongly that we cheer her on. She is vulnerable with the right amount of toughness; a good person caught in nightmarish situation. Of course, Nichols is absolutely gorgeous. I recently added the to this site's Horror Crushes, as she is most certainly a horror crush of anyone who sees this movie. And, let's call a spade a spade, she has some of the greatest cleavage that you will ever see in a horror flick. Both Nichols and Bentley pay so well of each other and have a great protagonist/ antagonist relationship that really drives the movie to the stratosphere.
P2 is a Christmas holiday season viewing tradition of mine for good reason. I've loved this movie since I first saw it as a blind buy when it first hit DVD. Suspenseful, violent, and with two superlative leads; it's a movie that deserves to be seated next to other holiday fear classics. If you have never seen it, you need to change that right fuckin now! And, if you have watched this nerve-shredder, watch it again. You need to make P2 part of your holiday viewing traditions as well. In all P2 holds an excellent level of holiday fear and tension.

3.5 out of 4

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