Storage 24: Film Review

Storage 24 Noel Clarke Laura Haddock - H 2013
Magnolia Pictures
This low-budget "Alien" knock-off set in a London self-storage facility inspires more claustrophobia than chills.

A quintet of twentysomethings battle a beastly alien in a London self-storage facility.

Essentially Alien set in a self-storage facility, the British low-budget horror flick Storage 24 doesn’t manage to rise above the limitations of its bare-bones concept. This tale of several squabbling twentysomethings battling a slimy, razor-sharped tooth extraterrestrial boasts some technical ingenuity, but its drab setting and formulaic goings-on relegate it to sub B-movie level status. Opening theatrically in Columbus, Ohio, it will score its biggest returns as a VOD item.

The film’s ominous events are set off by the off-screen crash of a military plane that apparently results both in a citywide loss of power and the escape of the beastly alien. Trapped in a massive London self-storage facility are a quintet of generally unlikable characters, among them Charlie (Noel Clarke, who also produced and scripted); his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes); and his best friend Mark (Colin O’Donoghue) who, as Charlie soon learns, bears some responsibility for the break-up.

Eventually the group discovers that they are not alone. Besides an ill-fated handyman and a dotty old squatter, there’s also the generic, CGI-enhanced monster who chases his human prey through the facility’s endless corridors and air vents. It all culminates in a fireworks-filled showdown between the creature and a tiny, yapping toy dog.

Featuring some amusing dialogue — Clarke’s character spends more time angrily fulminating about his unfaithful girlfriend than the imminent threat to their lives — the film is nonetheless tedious enough to feel much longer than its brief 87-minute running time. But director Johannes Roberts does makes enough atmospheric use of the claustrophobic location to inspire retroactive dread the next time you venture into such a building to retrieve your possessions.

Production: Medient Entertainment, Unstoppable Entertainment, Big Yellow Films (Magnet Releasing)
Cast: Noel Clarke, Colin O’Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock, Jamie Thomas King, Ned Dennehy, Geoff Bell, Alex Price, Robert Freeman
Director: Noel Clarke
Screenwriters: Noel Clarke, Johannes Roberts, Davie Fairbanks, Marc Small
Producers: Noel Clarke, Manu Kumaran
Executive producers: Pankag Rajani, Johnny Fewings, Josh Varney, Pankaj Kapoor
Director of photography: Tim Sidell
Editor: Martin Brinkler
Production designer: Malin Lindholm
Costume designers: Andy Blake, Miss Molly
Composer: Christian Henson
Rated R, 87 min.