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P2 is a 2007 psychological thriller/horror film directed by Franck Khalfoun. The film is written and produced by Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur, and the director, Khalfoun; the three have worked on other genre films as well, including the critically acclaimed remake The Hills Have Eyes a year earlier.

The name of the film comes from the underground parking garage level in which the film takes place. The plot revolves around Angela (Rachel Nichols), a young businesswoman who is imprisoned on Christmas Eve in the underground parking garage beneath the downtown Manhattan office block where she works. Her captor is loner Thomas (Wes Bentley), the obsessive and psychopathic security guard of the underground parking lot, who has been secretly stalking Angela for sometime and has finally snapped, leading to some murderous cat-and-mouse games.

P2 was rated "R" by the MPAA for "strong violence/gore, terror and language."

Plot

Corporate climber Angela (Rachel Nichols) works in a downtown Manhattan office block and gets stuck working late on Christmas Eve, before leaving to attend a family holiday party. On her way to her car in the second underground parking lot level (P2) beneath the office block, she discovers that her car won't start. After receiving some assistance (to no avail) from the security guard named Tom (Wes Bentley) and turning down his offer to spend Christmas with him in his portacabin, she calls for a taxi and waits in the lobby. When the taxi arrives, she discovers she's locked in the lobby, and runs back into the parking garage. The lights soon shut down and Angela wanders only guided by the light on her cell phone, she shines it on herself revealing Thomas right behind her. Thomas assaults Angela with cloroform, knocking her unconcious.

Later, Angela awakens in a drunken haze (now wearing in a white dress and high-heeled sandals) inside Thomas's office, her ankle chained to the table, and Thomas presenting her with a Christmas dinner. Thomas implies that he "loves" Angela despite her "many sins", and it is revealed that Thomas has been obsessively watching and recording Angela for some time through the CCTV in the office block. Despite Angela's pleas and threats, Thomas continues to hold her against her will, even forcing her to call her family and lie about an illness so that no one will come looking for her and while he is unlocking her chains, she drives a fork into his back, but is unable to escape.

Handcuffing her wrists together behind her back, they climb into his car and drive down to P4. There, they find a fellow coworker, Jim, tied to an office chair. Thomas believes Jim is "evil" after he witnessed on a CCTV recording Jim drunkenly hitting on Angela at an office party. After beating him with a small bat, rams him into the wall with his car multiple times, causing his intestines to rupture out of his body and ultimately killing him. Amidst the murder, Angela ditches the high heels is able to escape from the car. Once Angela has run a considerable distance away from Thomas, the barefoot girl manages to slide her legs through her handcuffed wrists so her arms are cuffed in the front of her body instead of the back.

While Thomas hides the evidence of Jim's death, Angela rushes back to the office for her cell phone, and also steals some key cards. She finds phone signal near a gate on P1 and attempts to call for help, but drops the phone on the other side, when she sees that Thomas is rounding the corner, and has to leave it behind. Angela runs to the elevators with Thomas right behind, and enters. Thomas then flushes her out by flooding the elevator with a fire hose from a higher floor. Karl (Philip Akin), the other security guard, then falls through the roof of the elevator and is dead on impact. When the elevator finally reaches the next floor it bursts open, spilling Angela and Karl's body back into the hallway.

While hiding in the parking lot, Angela is then tormented by Thomas who plays Elvis Presley's Blue Christmas over the intercom. She breaks open an emergency fire axe and begins to destroy the cameras one by one while making her way to his office, prepared to fight. Once entering, she finds a video playing of Thomas groping her body while she was drugged. Blinded by her fury, she smashes the TV with the emergency fire axe. Thomas then appears and ambushes Angela with a taser. When two policeman (Philip Williams and Arnold Pinnock) arrive at the garage and want to patrol the area for anything unusual. Through most of their patrol (unknowingly to them) Thomas has the fire axe, hiding it from view when he speaks to them through his office door, ready to use it. Especially when they come across the boards layed over Jim's leftover blood splatter. They don't check behind it or find anything suspicious about it.

Angela awakens, realizing she is locked in the trunk of her vehicle. She breaks out to catch up with the leaving policemen and encounters Thomas and his attack dog, a Rottweiler, at the door. He releases the dog on her, but she kills it with a tire iron. Once the dog is dead Angela (now covered in blood) stumbles to a nearby rental car office and calls 911. Thomas soon comes after her, but she manages to spray him in the face with some sort of chemical, taking a handful of rental car keys, and driving away in one of them.

On her way to the exit, she is suddenly side-swiped by Thomas in another vehicle, leading up to a game of chicken in which Angela wins. However, in the heat of the chase, Angela flips the vehicle and is presumably knocked unconscious. Thomas opens the door, Angela (faking her injury), manages to stab Thomas in the eye and hand-cuff him to the car. Taking his taser, she goes to leave, until Thomas insults her but then notices she is about to ignite a stream of gasoline leaking from the car. He then pleads with her, "why can't we just be friends?" When she doesn't answer his pleas, he insults her by calling her a vagina. Now, Angela has no mercy for Thomas so she quickly ignites the stream of gasoline, engulfing the car and Thomas in flames. She watches him burn and listens to his screams for a minute, then turns around and leaves. Then the sprinklers go off.

With Thomas dead, Angela makes her way to the gate barefoot, injured, and wet. She then uses the keys she took from Thomas to open the gates. She limps onto the snowy streets of New York City and towards the lights of several fire engines finally coming to her aid.

Cast



Production

The film re-unites Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur, and Franck Khalfoun who had previously worked together as director, writer and editor, respectively, on the 2006 film The Hills Have Eyes. Aja explains of the film, comparing it to his previous work, French slasher film High Tension, "With a strong plot in the vein of High Tension, P2 gives us a chance to further explore the survival aspect of the terror movie."

P2 began principal photography on August 14, 2006, and continued filming through late 2006. Filming took place exclusively at night, at a real working Torontomarker parking garage. There were fourteen white dresses made for the character of Angela to wear; each one was in various stages of dirtiness and decay. Three different dogs were used to portray Thomas' Rottweiler.

It was intended to be featured in the UKmarker based London FrightFest Film Festival in August 2007, but was pulled out soon before its date and replaced with Teeth.

The very first screening played at the Long Beach Town Center, and was met with less than favorable reactions from the test audience.

The first test screening received about 70% positive feedback, considered by Hollywood to be sub-par. After making adjustments, the second test screening achieved around 86% positive feedback, according to OTX Research (the company that held the screenings).

P2 was featured in an ad campaign on the social networking website Myspace, where a trailer for the film could also be streamed.

Sales

P2 was released theatrically in the United Statesmarker on November 9, 2007, and in the United Kingdommarker on May 2, 2008. In the US, the film suffered poorly on its opening week at the box office gaining just $2,083,398 which is, as of December 2008, the 2nd worst opening week ever for a very wide release (2,000+ cinemas).

P2 was released on DVD on April 8, 2008, and includes an anamorphic widescreen transfer with dolby 5.1 surround and special features include cast and crew commentary and three behind the scenes featurettes. DVD sales of the film fared better then the box office sales.

Critical reception

The critical reception to P2 was genrerally lukewarm to negative. As of November 29, 2009 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, P2 had a rating of 36%. Out of a total of 67 reviews, the film has 23 "fresh" reviews and 44 "rotten" reviews, with an average rating of 4.3 out of 10.

On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 37 out of 100, based on 12 reviews.

There were however some positive reviews of P2. Roger Ebert liked the film, giving it 3 out of 4 stars, and stated in his review that although the plot may seem like a formulatic slasher film, P2 is in fact a very well made, atmospheric thriller with gritty yet realistic characters.

This film was received fair among horror fans.

References

External links




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