Movie Review: “P2”

   P2 is a 2007 American/Canadian horror thriller film directed by Franck Khalfoun, written and produced by Khalfoun, Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur. Those names might be familiar to you if you happen to link them with the 2006 remake The Hills Have Eyes, a film that I have seen, but so long ago that Agent K might as well have wiped my mind of it completely. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but it was ultimately a success in-terms of sales. The film made twice its budget at the box office and apparently fared even better with its DVD sales. When I write reviews over films, beforehand, I like to offer some explanation for why I decided to take a look at it. After all, this is a 2007 film, and a less-than-noteworthy one at that. The film was recently added to Netflix and while the description definitely made it seem run-of-the-mill, sometimes that is exactly what I am looking for from a horror film. If nothing else, I was hoping it’d offer at least some entertainment-value and some light-heart depictions of insanity. Who doesn’t like that?

    The film takes place on Christmas Eve of all times, and a woman named Angela Bridges is hoping to attend a family party to celebrate the holidays. Before that can happen though, she has to make it home first. That doesn’t sound like too debilitating of a task, but she soon discovers that a security guard has the hots for her and a weird understanding of romance. That is, of course, meaning he locks her into the building and chains her to the table. The film is all about her trying to escape his grasp and survive the night.

    If that sounds formulaic and plain to you, that’s likely because that’s exactly what it is, and that’s exactly what I expected. But for what it’s worth, I think the film is particularly well-made. The acting is fine in most circumstances, the lead-woman does well enough, neither truly excelling or disappointing, she does about as much as someone could have expected her to do in such a role. The antagonist has a lot more to work with, and Wes Bentley does very well in his role. He can be a little over-the-top and a little out-there at times, but I think it works. In horror, we’ve seen the psychopathic killer about a million-and-one times but it’s all about finding something that really lets the character find life in itself and extra depth. This film doesn’t have anything that we haven’t already seen, but it’s still enjoyable performances all around. Wes is able to deliver a legitimately creepy vibe and is able to find a healthy medium between outlandish and realistic and make it work.

    The Christmas theme also adds to it, and also supports the well-made albeit formulaic theory that I had while watching it. Christmas themes definitely aren’t unseen in horror, but the music adds something to it, and it even has opportunities to work with the characters and show a little bit of personality. The cinematography also completes the depiction of an atmospheric vibe that feels dark and gritty.

    I suppose that what I’ll end up saying by the end of this all is that while P2 isn’t groundbreaking by any definition of the phrase, and while it’s not necessarily a standout title in horror, the film has merit. It’s a standard concept done with stability and capability. It doesn’t trip over itself, and it keeps itself together in a pleasant surprise of a film.

   Thanks for reading…

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