P2 Franck Khalfoun

P2 Franck Khalfoun

The "torture porn” movement grinds to a screeching halt with this laughably pathetic late quarter entry. Poor Rachel Nichols is the hapless victim here, an office jockey who makes the mistake of working late on Christmas Eve. She is surprised to find herself trapped in her office building when she tries to go home, only to discover that parking attendant Wes Bentley is fond of her in unpleasantly stalker-ish ways.

This of course sets the scene for a battle of wits in which Nichols must escape her pervy captor while he spouts ludicrous psychotic dialogue and does terrible things to one of her co-workers. But of course, the filmmakers are on her side and lead the victim to fight back against her captor because really they’re just interested in the emancipation of women.

That, I swear, is what the filmmakers would like us to believe — the cause of feminism apparently being served by confining and tormenting a woman for 98 minutes before magnanimously granting her assailant a comeuppance. Never mind that we learn far more about Bentley’s personality through his motor mouth than we ever do about his cowering prey, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The ineptitude of the writing does this thing in long before you get to the questionable ideology, repeating the worst clichés of the genre while indulging in some painfully easy irony involving the violation of the "most wonderful time of year.” Bentley’s atrocious performance tops things off, portraying the least threatening psycho I’ve ever seen.

Even if you’re a diehard for this most controversial of horror genres, you’re likely to be laughing at the camp or shaking your fist at the presumption that this is all you have to do to reel in the suckers. (Seville)