Thursday, January 10, 2013

Storage 24 (2013) - Movie Review

I'm at a disadvantage, as I haven't seen the previous 23 Storage films...

No, there aren't actually 23 other films in the series.  The über-creative title is in reference to the fact that this movie primarily takes place in a storage facility that's open for, you guessed it, 24-hours.  In keeping with creative names, the name of the storage place is also Storage 24.  I think a good name for an actual storage place would be Storage 25 just to mess with people.  They can even boast that their storage is so good that it feels like they are actually open an extra hour somehow.

Storage 24 is basically a story about an alien/monster that gets loose and wreaks havoc in the titular storage facility.  It could have been an interesting 'bottle episode', but we spend a good third of the film setting up the relationships between the four central characters.  This also wouldn't have been bad, but it was the type of melodrama you'd expect on a bad MTV or CW show.  I realize that saying a bad MTV or CW show is redundant.

We first begin with a plane crash that nobody reacts to like a normal person.  The plane literally crashes right outside of this storage facility, and you can hear the whine of the engines spinning down, yet they think it's a bomb or earthquake.  Maybe you could look outside the front window, a window that was somehow unaffected by the plane crash (that's some super strong glass there), rather than make wild guesses.

Then, we meet Charlie (Noel Clarke, who also co-wrote) who's going through a bad breakup.  He's headed to the storage facility to pick up some stuff.  While lamenting about his breakup, his 'best friend' (Colin O'Donoghue) basically yells at him to shut up because he can't hear a radio broadcast about the plane that crashed.  Nice friend, eh?  I'm sure his friend's overreaction couldn't be seeded by something else, could it?

They arrive at the storage facility where coincidentally his ex Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) and friends (notably Laura Haddock) are also picking up some stuff.  It seems to be everyone vs. Charlie at this point.  He just wants to understand why she broke up with him, and she confuses him further when she tells him he didn't do anything wrong.  This only makes Charlie press even harder for an explanation only to be told by everyone that he's being a dick and this isn't the time for this conversation.  Really?  You're a dick for asking why you're being broken up with after just being told you didn't do anything wrong?  She then tells him that he doesn't excite her and doesn't have any feelings for him.  Why she couldn't have just said that the first time is a mystery to me.  Also, telling someone you've been dating for a while that they don't excite you is a bullshit reason anyway.

In the very next scene we find out the real reason they broke up: she's been sleeping with Charlie's best friend.  You know, the same friend that yelled at him to shut up when he was upset about his breakup.  At least Shelley's friend takes Noel's side at this point, making her some somewhat reasonable.  This also sets up Charlie and Shelley's friend as the only two likable people in the movie.

Oh yeah, there's a monster on the loose.  It's a good thing we spent all that time with that relationship drama, huh?  I suppose that was to setup tension or something.  So, the monster finally starts attacking, and rest of the film is the group running from unit to unit trying to stay safe.  They try unsuccessfully to find weapons, and  finally decide they have to make a run for the exit.  They are trapped inside because of the crash, but there's a manual release if they can get to the exit.

The one thing I'll say for the film is that they actually used practical creature effects (a guy in a suit) for the majority of the film. It certainly made it seem creepier, and the threat more real.  However, the creature seemed to have super strength and oscillated between 8 and 12 ft tall.  It's the kind of movie where if it had played out in real life, they would have all been dead within minutes, as there no way without weapons they could have fought this thing off or found a place safe enough to hide where the creature couldn't have gotten to them.  It also had a 80's vibe about it and a soundtrack that reminded me a bit of Alien.  Those are about the only good things I can say about Johannes Roberts direction.  I'm also puzzled this had three writers, but I do think it's kind of funny that Noel Clarke co-wrote the film, yet plays the only the only character you're meant to root for. Not exactly a daring decision there.

Storage 24 would have found a better home on the SyFy channel, and there was no reason for it to have been stretched out to a 90-minute film.  This could have easily been cut down to something that would have made for a decent Twilight Zone episode (especially with the ending) or some 'creature of the week' show.  It also lacks the unintentional humor or campiness to put it in the same realm as stuff like Sharkopus, Birdemic: Shock and Terror or Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus.  It's not scary and needlessly melodramatic. There's no good reason to spend money to watch this, or to see it for free either.

1 (out of 5) Death Stars

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