In Johannes Roberts’s Storage 24, a massive storage facility in the middle of London is the novel setting for a game of alien peekaboo after a military plane crash-lands in the area, leaving its top-secret cargo scattered across the city. Charlie (Noel Clarke) arrives on the scene with his best friend, Mark (Colin O’Donoghue), looking for his girlfriend, Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), and discovers that she’s leaving him nearly at the same time as they all learn that an alien presence easily distracted by animatronic toys is hunting them down throughout the enormous facility. An attendant’s death is blamed at first on an old squatter (Ned Dennehy) whose conveniently touch-and-go nuttiness is emblematic of how hard this inane B-movie knockoff leans on cringe-inducing cliché: A handyman who gets cut in half early on naturally saves his last gasp for Charlie and the gang’s arrival a few reels later, while the human meat dummies lucky enough to not be serrated by the alien, a cheap hybrid of the iconic ghoulies from Alien, The Thing, and Predator, are all afflicted with the same aphasia that leaves them mumbling, “We’re all going to die.” But what’s ultimately chilling about Storage 24 isn’t the horror of the alien’s close-quarters assault, but the rank misogyny that more than offensively underscores the Melrose Place-grade human drama that plays out as Charlie and his posse try to wrestle their way toward freedom. Throughout, the action is mostly staged as a means for Charlie, who learns that Mark was boinking Shelley for some time, to prove that he’s no chump. And around him, Dennehy’s government-conspiracy nut compares his “feeding me fucking dry” wife to the alien, while one of Shelley’s friends not only has an intimate exchange with a female mannequin, but even calls a candy machine that refuses to drop its bounty a “pussy hole.” Maybe it’s appropriate, then, that the film ends with a vision of all of London having gone to the dogs.
- Johannes Roberts
- Noel Clarke, Johannes Roberts, Davie Fairbanks, Marc Small
- Noel Clarke, Colin O'Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock, Jamie Thomas King, Ned Dennehy, Geoff Bell, Alex Price, Robert Freeman