After being KO'd in the underground parking garage of her Manhattan office building, Angela (Rachel Nichols), a workaholic executive, wakes to find herself chained to a table. It's Christmas Eve, the building's empty, and a sad-eyed security guard named Thomas (Wes Bentley) wants a little company. Angela quickly makes her escape, only to find herself trapped in the multilevel parking garage, with her suddenly angry lothario in hot pursuit. If it weren't for two excessively violent deaths, P2 could be termed a refreshingly old-fashioned thriller, one dependent on hairbreadth escapes and the pluck of its heroine. Take out those unnecessary moments of gore and you'd have a silly (can't Angela just pull the fire alarm?) but diverting little movie, one driven by a commanding performance from Nichols, a pale beauty whose resemblance to a young Sissy Spacek has been playfully accentuated by blood streaks and a Carrie-like cream dress. Regrettably, writer-director Franck Khalfoun (who wrote the script with High Tension director Alexandre Aja) appears to have neglected Bentley. The actor, who got his break as the son in American Beauty, doesn't appear to have been told that a good cat-and-mouse thriller needs a villain who whispers menacingly, not one who stomps his foot and shouts hysterically.
Nichols and Bentley in an underground relationship.
Opens at Meridian and other theaters, Fri., Nov. 9. Rated R. 98 minutes.