Synopsis: London is in chaos. A military cargo plane has crashed leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware London is in lockdown, Charlie (Noel Clarke) and Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), accompanied by best friends Mark (Colin O’Donoghue) and Nikki (Laura Haddock), are at Storage 24 dividing up their possessions after a recent break-up. Suddenly, the power goes off. Trapped in a dark maze of endless corridors, a mystery predator is hunting them one by one. In a place designed to keep things in, how do you get out?
Release Date: January 11, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Storage 24 begins with a military plane crash in London, resulting in a city-wide lockdown. During the crash, the plane dumped its dangerous cargo into the rafters of a multi-level 24 hour storage facility. Unaware of the trouble, Charlie (Noel Clarke from “Doctor Who”) and Shelley (Kelly + Victor’s Antonia Campbell-Hughes), a recently broken up couple, have come to the facility to divide up their belongings with the help of their pals Nikki (The Inbetweeners Movie’s Laura Haddock), Chris (Jamie Thomas King from “The Tudors”) and Mark (The Rite‘s Colin O’Donoghue). The situation quickly turns awkward when Charlie finds out that Shelley is now dating Mark. Despite this realization, the group learns that they have bigger problems than hurt feelings when people start disappearing from inside the sealed up storage facility. Stuck inside and stalked by the monster, Charlie must put aside his personal feelings for Shelley and Mark in order to work with them and the rest of the group to survive.
Storage 24 is an homage to the eighties science fiction invasion film that would be right at home as a SyFy Network Original Movie. Director Johannes Roberts (Hellbreeder) owes a debt of gratitude to slimy exploitation films like Xtro and Invaders from Mars, but draws most of his influence from a more mainstream source: the Alien series. There are even a couple of scenes lifted straight out of the Alien films; one sequence finding Charlie and Mark crawling around in the heating vents is very reminiscent of the air ducts scene, and another scene where the invader gets up close and personal with Shelley is taken right from one of Ripley’s encounters in Alien 3. Storage 24 rehashes the confined victim motif of Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic but with one difference: the action is moved down to a storage facility on Earth which, ironically, makes the film feel more modern. However, while Alien is a study of suspense and tension with sporadic payoffs of horror and gore, the subtext of the love triangle makes Storage 24 feel like a soap opera that just happens to have a creature stalking the participants.
However, Storage 24 should be respected for what it tries to do. It brings back memories of a science fiction genre that is under appreciated these days, a time when the heroes actually interacted with monsters that had zippers up their backs. In the unforgiving world of Hollywood moviemaking, it’s a difficult task to undertake (see 2011’s Creature), but eventually the studios will make a movie that gets it right, and audiences will be eternally grateful. Unfortunately, Storage 24 is not that movie.
The creature effects in Storage 24 are a breath of fresh air amidst the modern day CG monsters in today’s films. The visuals rely very little (if any) on post-production, instead opting for the classic rubber suit and puppetry technique. This works very well in a film like Storage 24, where the action takes place in a confined space and the creature is revealed a little at a time, allowing the creature creators to concentrate only on what is being shown. What is most likely a budgetary limitation on the part of the production is turned into an asset, as the creature in Storage 24 is best seen in little bits and pieces.
The creature itself was designed by Chris Fitzgerald (who, as a member of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, also designed for the Harry Potter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies) and portrayed by British creature performer Robert Freeman with coaching from “creature consultant” William Todd-Jones (who did “creature movement consulting” for John Carter as well as puppeteering for Little Shop of Horrors). Storage 24‘s story may feel more like Alien, but the creature’s appearance looks to have been influenced greatly by Predator; it being more humanoid and having fearsome external grabbers for teeth. The creature is not nearly as inventive as the werewolf-like aliens from last year’s Attack the Block, but not quite as stereotypical as the invaders from Super 8, either. The creature in Storage 24 is a fun throwback to the days of practical animatronic effects, making its interaction with the actors much more believable. For a monster movie, Storage 24‘s effects succeed admirably.
There is some really nice tension and suspense built up in Storage 24, but there’s not a lot of payoff. The isolation and confinement of the protagonists leads to a feeling of helplessness amongst the audience, which works well, but there’s little punch to the film. The creature attacks slowly and methodically, stalking and hiding, and its methods add to the general paranoia of the story, but the real scares are few and far between. Storage 24 works much better as a science fiction film than a horror film, and doesn’t combine the two as well as it should.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Johannes Roberts
- Screenwriter(s): Noel ClarkeDavie FairbanksMarc Small
- Cast: Noel Clarke (Charlie)Colin O’Donoghue (Shelley)Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Shelley) Laura Haddock (Nikki)Jamie Thomas King (Chris)
- Editor(s): Martin Brinkler
- Cinematographer: Tim Sidell
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Christian Henson
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: UK