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Storage 24 (2012)
Magnolia Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 3/12/2013
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 4/6/2013
When a filmmaker sets out to make a movie, one has to assume that they have a goal in mind. Even if that goal is something as simple as actually completing the project, there should be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. For some, the goal is to create a work of art. For others, it's to make something which will entertain millions. I would like to think that most writers and directors want to create something new with their project. Not ever film is going to be something ground-breaking and unique like Fight Club or Eraserhead, but one would think that the creative team would want to make something which would make people say, "I haven't seen that before." That clearly was not the goal with Storage 24.
Storage 24 takes place at a storage unit center in London. As the film opens, a plane crashes near the building, and this begins to wreak havoc on the security system. Charlie (Noel Clarke) is attempting to come to grips with the fact that he's been dumped by his girlfriend, Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes). He and his friend, Mark (Colin O'Donoghue), come to the storage facility in order to retrieve some of Charlie's things from a unit he shared with Shelley. Things go from bad to worse when Charlie finds Shelley at the facility, along with her friends Nikki (Laura Haddock) and Chris (Jamie Thomas King), sorting through their things. A potentially heated incident is suddenly halted when the group realizes that they are trapped in the building, as the security gate has dropped and won't budge. In addition, the power keeps going on and off. However, the worst part is that a violent monster is locked in there with them. Will they be able to hold it off until they can find a way out?
First things first -- Have I ever seen a horror movie set in a storage unit facility? No, I have not, so points to Writer Noel Clarke for that. I don't know what life is like in England, but those business are ubiquitous where I live and there seems to be one on every corner. (Try explaining that to someone from the third world: We have so much stuff that we have to get another place to hold some of our stuff.) I know that storage units have become popular fodder for reality shows and that The Silence of the Lambs had an important scene which took place in one, but a whole movie? That's a first.
However, that's where the originality ends in Storage 24. Once the characters are trapped in the building, this becomes just another monster stalk and slash movie. After an opening teaser, it takes a long time for the first attack to take place and once it does, the movie never feels action-packed. We watch the characters move through the darkened building -- sometimes running, sometimes hiding, sometimes being attacked. The movie never veers from a very typical monster movie pattern, nor does it truly take advantage of its unique location. The film tries to do us a solid by offering a lot of character development with the relationship between Charlie and Shelley, but this feels contrived and it actually backfires, as it makes at least three of the characters come across as jerks. Everyone else here is merely a stereotype with little personality.
With Hammer, England was once a major player in the world of horror films. And while the Brits continue to make scary films, few of them are truly satisfying and Storage 24 certainly joins those ranks. Again, the locale is interesting, but the cliched story and action make this all feel very pedestrian. I liked the creature design (and the fact that there's actually a latex monster, as opposed to CG) and the final shot is undoubtedly impressive, but the film needed more story and more appealing characters in order to make it all worth while.
Storage 24 won't be getting its security deposit back on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Magnolia Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 36 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source material. Even when the power goes out, the image is never overly dark. The colors are natural and look good. The picture shows a nice amount of depth, most notably in the shots down the long corridors. The level of detail is good as well. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 2.2 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo and surround effects are evident even at low volume levels. These tracks are nicely detailed and show good separation. The surround sound effects show off sounds coming from various locations in the enclosed space. The subwoofer adds to jump scares and the opening plane crash.
The Storage 24 Blu-ray Disc contains several extra features. We begin with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from Director Johannes Roberts and actor /Writer/Producer Noel Clarke. The "Behind the Scenes Featurettes" section contains four segments -- "Creature Development", "Costume Design", "Sound Design", and "Storage Unit" -- which run about 43 minutes. These segments contain extensive interviews with Roberts, Clarke, and various members of the creative team. The monster gets a lot of attention and we see the work which went into creating it. Oddly, we don't hear very much from the rest of the cast. "Video Blogs" (10 minutes) contains on-set confessionals from Clarke, Laura Haddock, and Antonia Campbell-Hughes, who talk about their time working on the film. "A Day in the Life" (8 minutes) follows Clarke and Colin O'Donoghue through a day on the set. "Scene Commentaries" (6 minutes) has the actors describing what is happening in four specific scenes. The Disc contains six DELETED SCENES which run about 8 minutes. "Photo Reel" offers a number of on-set and behind-the-scenes stills. We get four early "Promos" for the film, as well as the U.S. TRAILER.
Review by Mike Long. Copyright 2013.