The Horror Honeys: P2: A New Level of Terror

P2: A New Level of Terror

A Horror TV Honey Holiday Review by Lisa

P2 (2007)

Dear Santa,

This year while watching the creatively dubious season of American Horror Story: Freakshow, I was reminded how much I love Wes Bentley and those evil eyebrows of his. This year, I would like to find Wes Bentley under my tree Christmas morning, but since that probably won't happen I guess I'll just have to watch P2 instead.

From writer Alexandre Aja and director Franck Khalfoun (High Tension, Mirrors, Maniac 2012) comes P2. Basically, imagine the limo driver in Die Hard was trapped with a homicidal maniac in that empty parking garage and not having a badass party with a giant teddy bear. Oh, and don't forget to turn him into a woman because, after all, this is a horror film and everyone loves a damsel in distress who has the opportunity to turn into the beloved Final Girl. When it comes to Mr. Aja I must admit to being biased. I adore High Tension and Maniac and I found his interpretation of Horns absolutely gorgeous. I also believe that, despite the torture that he puts them through, Aja believes in the power of a woman. It tends to be in a backwards Eli Roth exploitative kind of way, but women always manage to kick ass and come out on top in Aja's original films. (Maniac and The Hills Have Eyes are remakes, so not all of his women have fared so well.)

Bentley plays Tom, the nighttime security guard with such a great balance of sweet and crazy. Just like Marie in High Tension and Frank in Maniac, I want to kiss them and run away screaming in equal measure. Aja definitely has a knack for writing creepy, yet sympathetic, stalkers. Tom is so sweet while presenting Angela with dinner, cleaning up her vomit, making a toast and giving her a present, but his attitude turns on a dime when he thinks she's not appreciating all that he's done for her. Like when she is the opposite of pleased to see rapey guy tied to a chair. Come on, Andrea! This guy is just sitting there helpless and you're trying to tell me that you don't want to beat him with a flashlight? Fine then. I guess we'll just have to take care of him some other way. As always, Aja brings the awesome gore and this scene is particularly gruesome.

With any stalker based film, the storyline is predictable. Unfortunately, we have the usual dead security guard, the cops who show up, but leave just before Andrea can alert them of her presence and the dreaded busy message on 911, but the suspense is still there despite all of these pitfalls. Angela, played with Final Girl chutzpah by Rachel Nichols, does a great job of running around barefoot in a tiny dress. Andrea is smart and tough and, mostly, you understand and go along with the choices she makes while trying to survive. Except the dog bit. Sorry Angela, but I've got to side with crazy eyebrows on this one: let's leave Rocky the Rottweiler out of this. 

P2 doesn't break the mold or bring anything new to the table, but it's an entertaining Christmas-time horror film. You could certainly do a lot worse when it comes to Christmas horror, and at least P2 is in on it's own joke. The fun snapshots that play alongside the credits are a nice touch and a blood spattered Wes Bentley doing an Elvis impersonation to "Blue Christmas?"

Happy Holidays indeed.