Storage 24: a review

There aren’t many films set in storage facilities. We have no idea why – they’re incredibly evocative places. You can practically smell the memories and heritage of the items stored within the different units whenever you walk into one. Unfortunately, the impression most people have of storage facilities is what they’ve gleaned from the TV programme Storage Wars, where a bunch of wallies in baseball caps with stupid catchphrases try to outbid each other on the contents of units at auction in the hope that they might contain the last surviving pair of George Washington’s 350-year-old underwear or a pot filled with Otto von Bismarck’s moustache clippings.

There was hope, though, that that impression might be challenged with the release of the film Storage 24, written by and starring Noel Clarke from Kidulthood and Doctor Who. The film’s premise is simple: a military plane carrying unknown cargo crashes into London, spewing its contents all over the city. At a self-storage facility, several people are left trapped with a creature from another planet which is, to say the least, a tad irritated with the situation. What follows is an Alien-style, suspense-filled horror film where the audience doesn’t know which of the human characters is destined to live, and which will be creature-fodder before the lights come up.

 In basic terms, it’s an interesting idea – you can see how a deserted storage facility could be claustrophobic, creepy and provide a myriad of possibilities for Clarke to get jumps and scares out of his audience. It’s similar to the relatively successful Creep, which saw a woman stalked through the tunnels of the London Underground by a deformed killer. However, Storage 24, while making good use of the setting, got too bogged down in an uninteresting relationship subplot between Clarke’s character, his best friend and his ex-girlfriend obviously intended to give the characters some depth and make us care about them, but ultimately delaying the thrills the audience want and expect.

Even though it’s obviously a completely unrealistic situation to be in, hopefully the film won’t put anyone off using storage facilities – we don’t let anyone stay overnight for security reasons, but we do check that nobody’s still using a unit before we lock up! Ultimately, Storage 24 is a relatively impressive achievement for a film with a fraction of the budget of most movies, and it’s worth catching on DVD if you can…we just hope you’ll be able to sleep after seeing it!

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