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Director:Franck Khalfoun
Cast:Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols
Release Date:2007

By Al Shipley | Posted 11/14/2007

Thrillers, at their best, strike a balance between suspense and suspension of disbelief, keeping the premise plausible enough that you're not too busy poking holes in the plot or laughing at absurd contrivances to be scared. By setting his debut feature, P2, in an underground parking garage--level P2, natch--perhaps the most dungeonlike environment of modern city living, director Franck Khalfoun could've let the chills come naturally from the dark, claustrophobic scenery. Instead, he squanders a killer premise on this boilerplate cat-and-mouse game between pretty businesswoman Angela (Rachel Nichols) and Thomas (Wes Bentley), the psychotic security guard who's infatuated with her and holds her captive in their workplace's garage on Christmas Eve. A more charismatic actor could've had some campy fun with Thomas, the kind of nutjob who takes breaks from stalking to lip-sync to Elvis and deadpans "way to ruin Christmas" at people he's just killed. But Bentley underplays his role with a quiet intensity that's neither enigmatic nor intimidating, even as his actions become more and more horrific. And let's face it, young women these days have plenty of reasons to be scared shitless about walking to their cars alone at night without being subjected to such a poorly imagined worst-case scenario.

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