Storage 24 (2012)

Storage 24 is a superbly crafted, bloody, brutal, strangely amusing sci-fi horror that, despite a lack of true uniqueness, is a compelling watch and an excellent addition to British film.

We begin in the titular storage facility as the bored receptionist flicks through a men’s magazine and – BOOM! – a military plane crashes into Hyde Park and rains debris down on Storage 24. It’s a great start and genuinely terrifying.

We then focus on Charlie (Noel Clarke on top form), who arrives at the facility looking to heal his broken relationship with Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), who is busy packing up their old life into cardboard boxes. Unfortunately for them and their friends, the storage facility’s lockdown procedure kicks in and they find themselves locked inside, with intermittent lighting and… something else…

The something else I won’t spoil for you, but it’s pretty obvious from the start what it’ll be, and luckily director Johannes Roberts doesn’t bother to hide it from us for long. So one-by-one the people trapped in Storage 24 are brutally murdered and the remaining survivors must find a way out before their faces are beaten / crushed / clawed / eaten a bit.

Storage 24 takes low-budget (and a low-budget premise) and injects it with a high-budget feel, utilizing a single location to its maximum potential and ensuring it always feels ‘big’, from the opening plane crash to the brilliant ending.

For insanely-avid fans of horror and sci-fi (the kind of person who’s actually seen the likes of 51, Tape 407 and 2009’s Storage) you might find the story familiar and the horror tropes worn and a little clichéd, but due to its wide – and hopefully very diverse – audience spread, Storage 24 will surprise, excite, horrify and amaze anyone who isn’t a massive film buff.

That’s not to say there isn’t anything here for sci-fi / horror cinephiles – far from it – but the lack of any real surprises or invention will perhaps frustrate those looking for something different. Luckily the superb characterisations elevate this way above the usual horror / sci-fi fodder bollocks that you’d normally encounter in this bloated genre.

Comparisons will be made with other sci-fi / horrors too, from District 9 and Alien to The X Files and Doctor Who, but Storage 24 is its own unique beast. A character-led monster movie with some decent scares, lashings of gore (how the hell did this get a 15 certificate?!) and an impressive creature that genuinely looks awesome. And Storage 24 never bores, which is surprising for a film located in – basically – a big metal box full of big metal boxes.

Noel Clarke is superb as the heart-broken Charlie, in a complex and loveable role, and he really makes you root for him. Clarke also thought of the story, co-wrote it and produced it. Rumours he was also responsible for catering are unconfirmed.

The entire cast, in fact, are excellent and Johannes Roberts has proved he is able to wheedle fantastic performances out of his cast members (check out F for another example of his ability to get greatness out of actors). Alex Price is especially excellent in Storage 24 as Receptionist Jake and it’s a shame his role was so short lived.

It’s great to see that Roberts is gradually improving his game from film-to-film. I have had the dubious fortune of seeing Forest of the Damned, When Evil Calls, F and now Storage 24, with each film progressively getting better and better. To think the man behind the (frankly) abysmal Forest of the Damned has now produced a classy sci-fi horror with a wide cinematic release is amazing; God knows what he’ll produce in the future, but if his work-rate and quality increases on the same scale he’ll be dominating Hollywood by the end on the decade!

Overall Storage 24 is 100% worth the watch. For any Brits reading this, go and see it in the cinema because we need to show the world British films are not just classy and awesome, but also commercially viable. Storage 24 might tread old ground but it does it with style, quality and a wry sense of humour. Watch it.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

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