Sometimes overshadowed by other Christmas horrors, “P2” is an underrated winter thriller that you need to add to your December watchlist!
25 DAYS OF HOLIDAY HORROR (DECEMBER 19): P2
Directed and co-written by Franck Khalfoun, P2 follows workaholic Angela (Rachel Nichols) who is working late on the night of her family Christmas party. When she finally leaves for the evening, Angela finds herself stuck in the parking garage and at the mercy of Thomas (Wes Bentley), the garage attendant who has an unhealthy obsession with her.
I like to think of P2 as a Christmas rom-com gone wrong.
Usually, in a Christmas rom-com, one character uses the inherent romantic atmosphere of the season to confess their love to their crush; that’s precisely what Thomas does in this movie. The catch is that Thomas is mentally unstable and very obsessed with Angela.
Both actors give great performances in the movie. Wes Bentley terrifies as Thomas and even conflicts the viewer a bit because he is so adorable and charismatic — you almost feel bad for him. Well, you feel bad for Thomas until he knocks Angela out, strips her to her undergarments and chains her to a chair.
Rachel Nichols is great as Angela, who is actually quite resourceful, something we don’t see a lot in horror movies. It’s refreshing to have a protagonist that seemingly does everything right, and still ends up in that type of situation. If anything, that just makes the movie scarier; it’s way easier to separate yourself when the characters are making dumb decisions that no one in their right mind would make.
A lot of the creeps in P2 come from the setting: a deserted parking garage. Parking garages are creepy enough on their own on any given day, let alone when you have a psychopath after you. Not only that, but this is one of those awful underground parking garages – which makes me eternally grateful I live in Florida where there is no underground anything.
Basically, Khalfoun sets up this awesome and seemingly endless underground playground for this movie. You would think the movie would get boring, considering it’s in the same location for the bulk of the runtime, but that isn’t the case in P2.
The kills in the movie are pretty brutal, even if the body count is not that high.
(Plot spoilers ahead)
I have a hard time deciding which is more brutal: Thomas smashing office pervert Jim (Simon Reynolds) between a car and wall or Angela killing Thomas’ rottweiler with a tire iron. The most satisfying scene, however, is the end when Angela finally has Thomas trapped.
Thomas pleads with Angela saying, “Why can’t we just be friends?” When Angela doesn’t respond, Thomas calls her a c**t, and she lights him on fire. For any woman who has experienced unwanted advances from a guy, only to be called a bitch when you reject them, this ending is so gratifying.
(End of plot spoilers)
Overall, P2 is one of those Christmas horror movies that isn’t overflowing with Christmas music and décor. If anything, the Christmas part of the movie is more a backdrop than anything. For that reason, I always recommend P2 for anyone looking for a festive horror movie that doesn’t lay on the Christmas themes too thick.
If P2 isn’t already part of your yearly Christmas line-up, add this underrated flick to your list!