This was a directorial debut for Franck Khalfoun who went on to direct a couple of decent movies like the Wrong Turn at Tahoe and Maniac. However, the more familiar name was that of Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension, The Hills Have Eyes, Horns, Crawl). P2 is not as scary as the rest of them, nor better, but it’s a decent little thriller with some brutal scenes (actually two). However, it has this palpably intense atmosphere that makes P2 a very engaging experience. The very fact that the entire movie is set in an underground parking garage is enough to make you want to check out this movie. Well, if you like closed environment movies, where the story is happening in a single building. And if you’re a Die Hard fan, a movie that also takes place during a Christmas Eve in a single building.
After workaholic executive Angela gets stuck at work on Christmas Eve, she will be pursued by a deranged security guard. It takes some time before anything happens. I mean I like it when we get to know the characters before the ordeal but I think that they could have told the psychos story too. Speaking of characters, the main difference between P2 and any other slasher movie is the fact that the protagonists think before acting. They will not go unarmed into the dark and wait to be slaughtered. Or try to do something that’s obviously is not going to work. This believability of the characters’ actions adds to that thick layer of atmosphere.
With two main characters, one good and one evil I think that they could have done better work with the script because I liked more the evil character. Fucking Wes Bentley. The man just looks creepy and determined, with mad acting skills. That scene from American Beauty propelled him into the stars, and for good reason too. Since I saw him there, I knew that this guy is going to make it. Rachel Nichols was also phenomenal as smart, resourceful and beautiful Angela.
Suspense is omnipresent along with that creepy feeling that something bad is about to happen. However, it’s the setting of a cold and sterile parking lot that puts the characters at the center of attention. If you like classic thrillers this one will do just fine. And if you would like to continue with similar movies I recommend Tower Block and Not Safe for Work.
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Cast: Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols, Stephanie Moore, Simon Reynolds
Fun Fact: Shot in two months, exclusively at night, at a real working Toronto parking garage.