MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
Noel Clarke as CHARLIE
Colin O’Donoghue as MARK
Anotina Campbell-Hughes as SHELLEY
Laura Haddock as NIKKI
Jamie Thomas King as CHRIS
Alex Price as JAKE
Ned Dennehy as DAVID
Directed by: Johannes Roberts
BY KEVIN CARR
Let me start off by saying that “Storage 24” is a decent flick. For low-budget monster-movie filmmaking, it’s a nice-looking piece of work. They do a lot with limited space and restrictive locations. Had this been made in the massive Hollywood style, it would lose some of its intimacy and chills.
In short, I liked it. But I did not love it. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to love it, but from the early marketing, I thought that might be a possibility.
“Storage 24” comes from the mind of Noel Clarke, whom most will recognize from his stint on “Doctor Who” as well as his British productions “Kidulthood” and “Adulthood.” While I liked him quite a bit on “Doctor Who,” I’ve never been wild about his involvement as a writer. And there’s where I’m conflicted.
I respect the hell out of Noel Clarke for how he has taken his own brand of independent filmmaking by the horns and make it his own. I respect the hell out of him for dabbling in the genre marketplace but still infusing a level of human drama into his work. I respect the hell out of him because he seems to be one of the busiest guys in his field, and he has a true passion behind his work.
I just don’t like his characters. They’re a bit too dour and bitter for my tastes. These types of characters have shown up in his other work, most recently in “220.127.116.11,” which was ambitious but a bit off. We see a lot of the same things happening in “Storage 24,” featuring characters I don’t particularly like or want to cheer for, but frankly that’s not uncommon for a scary flick.
“Storage 24” tells the story of a group of people stuck in a storage facility with a hostile alien. It takes a while for them to even realize there’s something wrong, and when this military-captured monster finally rears its head, things get very bloody fast.
“Storage 24” comes from good pedigree in the genre, building off similarly-themed films like John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” It doesn’t try to explain too much about the monster, but rather lets it rampage and cause mayhem.
A lot is done with the storage location to make it creepy and work for the story. It’s contained and cramped. There are plenty of dark corners and shadows, and they’re enhanced in post-production to make things seem even creepier (which is detailed in the behind-the-scene featurettes in the bonus materials menu).
Again, it’s the characters that break down for me. They just don’t seem to be very nice people, so when people start to become lunch for the creature, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. Between infidelity and snootiness, I really didn’t care much for the characters to even keep a running head count of who bites it.
Still, “Storage 24” completely works for what it is, and its low-budget nature keeps things grounded. In many ways, this is a throwback to the films of the 70s and 80s that fell through the cracks for most audiences but become cult horror gems in the ensuing years. If you at all enjoy these kinds of creature features, give “Storage 24” a look.
The Blu-ray comes with a nice slate of bonus features, including deleted scenes, a photo reel, teasers, promos, the trailer and commentary with Clarke and director Johannes Roberts. There are also scene commentaries with Clarke and fellow actors Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Colin O’Donoghue and Geoff Beil.
There’s plenty of behind-the-scenes featurettes that cover the different aspects of filmmaking. These include “Creature Development,” “Costume Design,” “Sound Design” and “The Storage Unit.” There are also Video Blogs featuring Clarke, Campbell-Hughes and Laura Haddock. Finally, “Day in the Life of Noel Clarke and Colin O’Donoghue” looks at the day-to-day life of the film’s stars.