FEARNET Movie Review: 'Storage 24'


storage 24It would be impossible (albeit amusing) to recount all of the various Alien rip-offs, knock-offs, and retreads that have been churned out of the indie horror machine since Ridley Scott's masterpiece of creature craziness hit the screens back in 1979... and they're still showing up in 2013. Take it as a compliment to the masterful outer-space monster classic or dismiss it as a simple enough concept for just about anyone to tackle -- the "people vs. alien in an enclosed place" conceit has been presented in a mega-ton of (mostly rotten) movies. So when a new one wanders down the pike, another indie from Great Britain to be specific, my first thought is "lemme watch it," and my second is "please let this one have at least one stray thread of originality, novelty, or creativity." The recent Australian import Crawlspace went a little too dense and plot-heavy with its Alien-inspired antics, and unfortunately it seems like Storage 24 fails in the other direction: there's virtually nothing going on!

A plane crash near a giant storage rental facility allows a ravenous creature to stalk and kill some of the more annoying characters you'll come across in a horror film this year. One can assume that lead actor / co-writer Noel Clarke doesn't want us to take the premise all that seriously, but I sincerely doubt that he wanted his main character to be this unremittingly annoying. Long before the creature pops up we're saddled with a painful series of exchanges between sad-sack Charlie and his recently estranged girlfriend, and a lot of the dialogue is more or less painful. At early moments Storage 24 almost feels like an Office-style comedy of embarrassments regarding Charlie's wounded heart, but it's not very funny and I thought this was a monster movie, after all.

After much hemming and hawing and weird sexual politics all over the place, the locked-in losers start to get picked off by an alien that looks a whole lot like all the other bipedal aliens you've ever seen in low-budget movies like Storage 24. And while the flick does mange to exhibit a little bit of a pulse and a few decent directorial touches once stuff actually starts happening, the simple truth is that the headache you'll get from the first half of the flick is not worth the meager thrills you'll get from the second half. I say there's always room for another "alien on the loose" b-movie but if all you have to add to the mix is a bunch of whining and a (frankly rather dull) storage facility as your location, you may need to refer to the drawing board one more time.