Prolific writer,actor Noel Clarke is certainly up for it. Storage 24 is the second movie in two weeks that have sprung from his imagination (the other being Fast Girls, while The Knot is on its way) but his latest are some distance away from the movies that gained him attention in the early 00s, Kidulthood and Adulthood. Storage 24 may be low budget horror but there are cutbacks on its originality too.
Antonia Campbell-Hughes (The Other Side Of Sleep) has given Noel Clarke the boot and buddy Colin O'Donoghue (The Rite), stuck in traffic in the middle of London, is sick of Noel banging on about it. Tensions in the car are high as the two friends make their way to the titular storage complex to do the awful 'post-break up dividing of stuff' thing. But there's a reason for that traffic jam, and why the government have shut down the city, and that reason has found its way to Storage 24 to unceremoniously off anyone in the vicinity in an increasingly gruesome manner.
Okay, it's harsh saying that Storage 24 lacks originality; most movies do and I, personally, have never seen a toy dog yelp-yelp-yelp its way towards a confused monster with rockets strapped to its back. A funny scene in a movie that had the makings of a decent comedy-horror, Noel Clarke and director Johannes Roberts seem caught in two minds of what tone to take: a nip here, a tuck there and a decision as to what they want the movie to be and Storage 24 might have been better. There are some scenes to keep horror fans curious: there is the 'spot the nod to Alien' (someone is killed in a drawn-out Harry Dean Stanton style) and Aliens (there's a sudden realisation that 'something' is crawling around above the ceiling and someone grabs a flashlight and pokes their head up there) but the overall tone is wonky. At one point the soundtrack sounds an awful lot like the theme to the X Files and I couldn't figure it out if it was a joke or not.
Matters aren't helped when Roberts doesn't give us a sense of the storage complex: how big or small it is, how many levels there are and if the units themselves are connected, a development that becomes essential later. 2007's Botched may have been too wacky a comedy-horror for its own good but at least we definitely had a sense of the geography of the maze-like building the action took place in (incidentally Geoff Bell meets a grisly end in Botched and here).
It's not all bad. Clarke keeps the mystery alive (what exactly is hunting them down?), he writes decent dialogue and although the romance part of the story is a tad obvious the performances elevate it.