Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A young lady is swamped at work, working late during the holiday season. She tries to go home after everyone else has left, but runs into a problem- the lonely parking garage security guard who has kidnapped her and simply wants to have his way with her.
Is it good movie?
So after reading so many negative reviews for P2, I avoided seeing it in theatres. Even our man, my boss, head honcho and generally good looking fellow The Arrow didn't dig it. To my surprise (and maybe it was because of my low expectations), I actually really dug the flick.
Against all of my better judgment, I believe the reason this one was so good was because of Wes Bentley. Yes, the same guy who played Blackheart in the dreadful Ghost Rider, and the same guy who was mesmerized by plastic bags in American Beauty. His performance in this was just spot on, I dug it. He's not your typical psycho, which is what drew me in. I thought his character was a really lonely dude who had simply reached the end of his rope, and he was also very intelligent, articulate, and even a little charming. In a twisted way, if I were a murderer, I'd probably be a lot like ol' Wes' character in P2. Great job.
The other aspect I liked about this one was the gore. Very nice gore here, with some inventive kills and great gore. I won't give away what little plot points there are, but man- a certain fellow gets it really good in this one, what a smash-up! I thought that the film was relatively believable too, to a certain point. After about the halfway point, things start to get a little silly and the film became a bit more degenerative. Wes' character starts to shift into the 'batsh*t crazy for no reason* territory, and things start to feel just a little pat. I was still along for the ride though and most importantly, I bought the things that were going on. There were only a few moments when I was thinking "oh come on", and they were pretty sparse.
The girl, played by Rachel Nichols, was also decent enough. Her character was played strongly and not completely dumb, which is nice. I didn't agree with all of her decisions, but she plays things smartly enough. She has to toughen up later on though, and becomes a vision of Alexandre Aja's previous heroes, a blood-soaked maniac whose life has been turned upside down.
I probably won't remember watching P2 in about two weeks, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it when I did. The movie delivered on the shocks, scares and gore more so than I thought it would. Hooray for being wrong when judging early!
Video / Audio
Video comes in 2.35:1 widescreen and looks alright, nothing too incredible, but decent enough. A bit dark though, heavy on the negative blacks.
Audio is in Dolby 5.1, but also isn't too exciting. The dialogue sounds good, but the thumps and bangs seem a bit muted, which is disappointing.
The Audio commentary with director and filmmakers is decent enough, Aja seems passionate, although his heavy accent can be tough to discern. The director talks too much. I also found that the crew here patted each other on the back a lot and tended to be repetitive.
A New Level of Fear: The Making of P2 is only about 12 minutes long and almost all they talk about is creating terror, fear and tension. The cast chimes in here and there, and the filmmakers chat too, but no one adds anything special.
Tension Nouveau: Presenting Franck Khalfoun is a very short feature that runs about 3 minutes long. It is an introduction to the director of the film, Franck Khalfoun, who dresses like an idiot. Almost half of the piece is clips from the movie, and I don't really understand how it introduces him very well. More about creating tension and how it's done.
Designing terror is another short 5 minute feature that focuses on set design, and how creepy and scary it is. Moderately interesting, but all of these clips could have been blended together in my opinion, they're not that different.
Finally, two trailers for P2, and Never Back Down.
Although the DVD kind of sucks, I really enjoyed P2 for what it was. It exceeded my low expectations, had good gore and relatively believable characters. If you're looking for a good quick horror fix, pick this one up.