P2 was a Christmas-themed horror that I’ve been avoiding for some time. Simply because it didn’t seem like it was going to be much fun. The basic premise throughly unexciting, it screamed ‘taking itself too seriously’, Which it does. However, it’s great to be wrong as I found P2 to be a wild psychological horror that entertained and even surprised.
Effectively a cat and mouse horror, it sees Angela (Rachel Nichols) working late on Christmas Eve in her office complex. When it’s time to leave, she finds her car won’t start so is forced to seek out the security guard, Thomas (Wes Bentley). Unfortunately for Angela, Thomas is a little taken with her having watched her from afar and he sees this holiday period as the perfect time to get to know each other.
It’s not exactly an original idea but thanks to good pacing, good acting and some genuinely tense/uncomfortable segments, P2 is very memorable.
Let’s start with the good…the acting. Nichols’ Angela is a likeable enough character, one who is over-worked in a corporate setting. We don’t know loads about her but what we get is enough to care about her plight.
Then we have Bentley’s Thomas, who is played uncomfortably realistic. A man with a sense of entitlement, his ‘good’ deeds needing reward and gratitude way beyond what is reasonable. From the very first moment he appears on screen he gives off a ‘creep’ vibe and his interactions with Angela are awkward.
When he finally shows his true colours he does so in a way that seems to suggest he is her rescuer. Saving her from a mundane lonely life. He genuinely believes he is what she has been waiting for her whole life and goes out of his way to prove it.
In the films most shocking scene, Thomas reveals that he has also kidnapped her co-worker. A man who previously attempted to sexually assault Angela in a lift. Thomas plans to punish this man and what follows is incredibly uncomfortable to watch and down-right gruesome.
This is the point where the movie turns everything up a notch and it becomes a fight for survival. Again, it’s been done before countless times and that will always be to P2’s detriment but it doesn’t stop it being throughly enjoyable. That it has style and has no problems with splashing the gore around is just a bonus.
Thomas is a villainous character, one with very few redeeming qualities by the end and you’ll be hard pressed to not be cheering for his comeuppance.
Almost everything negative about P2 surrounds the story and how it really doesn’t tread any new ground. Some may lament the bland, grey and cold location it mostly takes place in but it makes for a terrifyingly real contrast to the bright and warm offices above.
It’s not overtly Christmassy, which is both a good and bad thing, but there are more than enough references and shots to make it feel like a holiday film.