A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a gruesome thriller about sadistic captivity and male sexual obsession. Even with its tiny cast, it manages to squeeze in scenes of close-up mutilation and bloody savagery, thanks to murders of both people and a dog. The heroine is forced to wear a revealing, skin-tight dress for most of the movie; there's also some swearing (including "f--k" and "c--t") and an intense sense of peril and helplessness.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In a Manhattan high-rise office building on Christmas Eve, pretty blond secretary Angela (Rachel Nichols) is last to leave for the holiday. When she gets to her car on parking-garage level P2, it won't start. All the building doors are locked, the garage gates are down, and the only other person visible in the vast underground complex is a boyish night watchman named Tom (Wes Bentley), accompanied by his vicious dog. Tom insists that Angela join him for a private Christmas dinner he's prepared. When she refuses, he knocks her out; she wakes up dressed in a skimpy outfit and chained to a table in his office. Yes, Tom is an obsessed loner who has been watching Angela for some time on the security cameras. He's trapped her in an insane bid to win her affections. The "twist" is that lovestruck, deluded sociopath Tom keeps claiming that he doesn't really want to hurt Angela, that he has more respect for her than anyone else. Killing her isn't part of his game plan, so he saves the worst of his psycho savagery for some side victims. But the leading lady gets bloodied and brutalized all the same (and, even on a freezing-cold winter night, never does make a priority of covering her bountiful cleavage).
Is it any good?
This is an explicit, gory "torture porn" film, complete with graphic, boundary-pushing carnage and emphasis on sadistic mutilation inflicted on helpless captives. P2 isn't the worst of the lot -- but the fact that are are worse movies of this type is a sad commentary. Some fans claim that movies like this are "feminist" because the frightened heroine eventually gathers her nerve together and fights back, like in Aliens and Halloween . Here Angela tries various gambits to escape, ranging from violence to using her wits and summoning help. But she's never quite smart enough to do anything that will end her ordeal (and ours) early, and the movie is pretty predictable for the most part, as it plays out to an inevitable, over-the-top action showdown.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the realities of stalking, a crime that has gotten increasingly high-profile thanks to cases involving celebrities. Do you think a bloody thriller like this contributes to the problem? How does the media typically portray stalkers? How can you tell when an innocent crush has gone too far?
- In theaters: November 8, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: April 7, 2008
- Cast: Rachel Nichols, Simon Reynolds, Wes Bentley
- Director: Franck Khalfoun
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence/gore, terror and language.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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