Saturday, 7 July 2012



Do we just not do commercial movies as well as the Americans do? We don't make big blockbusters by ourselves, unless serious studio money is involved (such as with the Harry Potter series, and even the James Bonds are basically American films now). We do make plenty of movies about inner city hooligans and/or inarticulate gangsta arseholes, which are no fun and, more importantly, keep Danny Dyer in work. Either that or we churn out costumed heritage pieces which are basically Sunday evening TV shows - The Young Victoria and The Other Boleyn Girl are very pretty and respectable, but how much better would they have been if they'd fought werewolves and Satanists? And we do make plenty of DTV exploitation movies, but for various reasons - budgetary constraints making everything cheap and ugly, the availability of inexpensive equipment allowing clueless halfwits to throw something together with their mates over a weekend - many of them are unwatchable. There are exceptions, happily.

Johannes Roberts' Storage 24 is no gamechanger, it's not going to win any awards and it's not going to dominate the box-office for the next ten weeks. But it is a perfectly decent horror movie which sets up its simple idea - monster chases bickering idiots around a confined location - quickly and efficiently, includes a smattering of crowd-pleasing gore and a nice ending. A military cargo plane crashes in Battersea and one of its reinforced metal crates bursts open, releasing a huge gribbly alien into the local storage facility. Contrivances allow a motley group of people into the building while an engineer fiddles with the shutters to override the security lockdown, among them businessman Noel Clarke, the girlfriend who just dumped him, his and her best friends and a loonie hiding from his ex-wife.

From there it's a body count movie as people wander off on their own or go back to rescue someone else, and the Predator Alien monster gets them. In places it's actually quite nasty - the 15 certificate comes after trimming some of the goriest moments, so it's only just shy of a full 18 - and in others it's a touch silly; the biggest laugh comes from our heroes exploiting the creature's inexplicable interest in squeaky toy puppies. It's just a pity that none of the characters are particularly sympathetic, so you don't really care which ones get their faces ripped off and which ones survive to the fabulous final shot. Storage 24 really isn't anything special or dazzling, granted, but it is still a lot of good gruey fun, way more entertaining than Attack The Block in the aliens-in-London stakes, and a far better bet for your Friday night £8 than yet another gritty microbudget drama about urban yob culture.


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