seems to have mistimed its release, missing out on 2011's unofficial "year of the alien invasion," which featured Super 8
and Attack the Block
, two films that share similarities with Storage 24
-- although sadly, overall quality is not one of them.
Down in the dumps after his girlfriend Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) dumps him, Londoner Charlie (Noel Clarke, Doghouse
) heads to the Storage 24 storage facility in a last-ditch effort to win her back, aware that she'll be there divvying up their belongings. Driven by his pal Mark (Colin O'Donoghue, The Rite
), he's let in to the building, which promptly locks down afterward due to intermittent power outages caused by a recent plane crash nearby. When Charlie and Mark reach the storage locker, they find Shelley with her friends Nikki (Laura Haddock) and Chris (Jamie Thomas King).
Charlie's sad-sack efforts to rekindle the flame fall flat, but they're a walk in the park compared to what happens next. You see, the crashed plane was of the top-secret military variety, and the cargo it contained was of the deadly alien variety. The creature has escaped into the facility, and soon the friends find themselves running for their lives, trapped inside with the vicious alien as they try to find a way out of Storage 24.
The End Result
Noel Clarke and Laura Haddock in 'Storage 24'.© Magnet Releasing
To say that Storage 24
is influenced by Alien
is like saying Aliens
is influenced by Alien
. It's got all the trappings of the Ridley Scott film and its sequels: the confined metallic setting, the insectoid alien, the slime, the creature traveling through overhead vents, the bastard who turns on everyone to save himself, the coward who proclaims they're all going to die ("Game over, man!"), etc. But the familiarity doesn't stop there; horror clichés abound, from the lack of cell phone reception to people roaming around in the dark asking "Is anyone there?" to the presumed dead person who springs to life for one last gasp to the peripheral guy who sacrifices himself to a monster who decides to pick up and non-lethally toss
the hero rather than just ripping his head off.
But horror flicks aren't exactly know for their originality, so once you get past all the borrowed elements, there's enough in Storage 24 to make for some good shallow fun -- like a really high-end SyFy movie. The makeup effects are well done, and the gore is plentiful. The cast sells the material, with Clarke a particularly likable everyman. The plot is straightforward and fast-moving, although some of the character reactions and general logistics of the action can be frustratingly nonsensical. What keeps the film from truly tapping into its pulpy appeal, though, are the uninspired set pieces, which follow the standard horror beats and lack any real "wow" moments.
- Acting: B- (Likable performances all around.)
- Direction: C (Modest scares; some disjointed action.)
- Script: D+ (One long running cliché, with certain elements that seem to be foreshadowing but that never go anywhere.)
- Gore/Effects: C+ (Solid, mostly -- refreshingly -- non-CGI effects.)
- Overall: C (Always watchable, sporadically enjoyable.)
Storage 24 is directed by Johannes Roberts and is rated R by the MPAA for creature violence, gore and language. Release date: January 11 (on demand December 6).