Blu-ray Review: Storage 24 / Cert: 15 / Director: Johannes Roberts / Screenplay: Noel Clarke, Davie Fairbanks / Starring: Noel Clarke, Colin O'Donaghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes / Release Date: Out Now
To judge by the movies, Britain ranks pretty low on visiting aliens' lists of places to eat. Or at least that's how it used to be; these days, they seem to be stopping by for supper more and more often. In this instance, a military cargo plane crashes in central London, causing confusion and power outages, as a result of which a group of characters find themselves trapped inside a 24-hour storage facility. Trouble is, there's something in there with them, and, yes, it's got a bad case of the munchies…
It's the tried and tested monsters-and-confined-spaces set-up, but served up a l'anglaise with low key acting and Eastenders-style fractiousness. At the centre of the story is the soapy relationship between misery guts Charlie (Clarke) and his tight-lipped ex-girlfriend, Shelley (Campbell-Hughes). Smarting after being abruptly dumped, Charlie turns up at the facility to divide their shared belongings, only to find her already there, doing the same – talk about awkward. What with his whining and her sharp-tongued retorts, it's almost a relief for everyone else present (his bestie Mark and her friends Chris and Nikki) when the alien's taloned fist comes punching through the ceiling.
The ensuing action largely retreads ground familiar from other movies – their nemesis pouncing on them from the ceiling cavity or scuttling along the walls as they flee in terror, the characters squeezing through air vents and scrambling for makeshift weapons – but it also manages some quirky, imaginative touches, which we won't spoil for you. The alien's quite handy, too – a bug-eyed tough nut who's idea of first contact is performing the Heart Rip move from Mortal Kombat. Alright, it's basically a man in a creature suit, but a superior one (with a fetching array of mouth tentacles-cum-fingers), and it stands up well to the scrutiny of this HD release.
Johannes Roberts over-directs a little in the opening reel, but moves things along with aplomb in the latter stages, bringing the film home in a brisk hour and 29 minutes. The script (by several hands and based on an original draft by Clarke) doesn't exactly sparkle, but hits it beats in an unpretentious, workmanlike way, and the storage facility is a great idea for a setting. It's not exactly genre-defining or even particularly ambitious, and – perhaps its most serious demerit – you might well struggle to warm to its dramatis personae of rather selfish, taciturn Londoners. But Storage 24 still leaves the impression of being a well-crafted mini-actioner that capably navigates between Hollywood slickness and a British kitchen sink mentality. The Blu-ray is fleshed out with over 90 minutes of excellent behind-the-scenes extras, so a full evening's entertainment is guaranteed.
Extras: Commentary by Noel Clarke and Johannes Roberts, Deleted Scenes, On Storage Set Featurette, A Day In The Life of Noel Clarke, A Day In The Life of Colin O'Donoghue, Photo Gallery, Creature Development Featurette, Look and Costume Featurette, Music and Sound Design Featurette, On Storage Set Featurette, Weekly Blogs x 3 Noel Clarke, Weekly Blogs x 3 Laura Haddock, Weekly Blogs x 3 Antonia Campbell Hughes, Scene Commentaries by Noel Clarke, Antonia Campbell Hughes & Colin O'Donoghue x 4