P2 *** USA 2007 Dir: Franck Khalfoun. 98 mins
Co-writer Alexandre Aja and future MANIAC remake director Khalfoun reteamed from SWITCHBLADE ROMANCE for this brutal survivalist horror. Set in a New York City parking lot on Christmas Eve, it sees gorgeous businesswoman Rachel Nichols accosted by friendly but weird security guard Wes Bentley when preparing to head home for the holidays. Soon, she has been drugged, forcibly changed into a very low cut party dress and chained to a table to share a festive meal with the nutjob and his beloved pet Rottweiler.
In the ball-busting, post-BUFFY final girl tradition, however, Nichols fights back. There’s a pleasing retro 70’s feel to this film’s many scenes of its busty starlet running around in a soaking wet, revealing outfit while chased by a lecherous madman. Nichols is worth rooting for, and the movie is taut and well paced, punctuated by some of the rousingly nasty gore typical of Aja’s movies. Bentley adds another psychopathic misfit to his resume as a loopy, lonely Elvis fan who gets to mime to the King’s “Blue Christmas” during a particularly unhinged moment. The sarcastically cheerful photo montage during the end credits (as if we’ve just been watching an upbeat romantic comedy) is a nice touch.
Review by Steven West