Did you ever wonder what Mickey Smith got into after his adventures with the Doctor? Well, the real answer is that he married Martha Jones, but as for the actor behind the character, Noel Clarke, he got into filmmaking as a writer and producer in addition to continuing his acting career. Though he’s moved on from ‘Doctor Who’, he’s still dabbling in the genre where he gained a name. As of last week, fans of Clarke’s can now see him the new sci-fi horror film ‘Storage 24’ from his production company, Unstoppable Entertainment. Not only is he a part of the producing team and the cast, but he also wrote the initial script as well.
While this film has been out in the UK since last June, it just hit this side of the pond recently this month. For those unfamiliar with it, here’s the trailer, followed by the synopsis:
London is in chaos. A military cargo plane has crashed leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware London is in lockdown, Charlie (Noel Clarke) and Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), accompanied by best friends Mark (Colin O’Donoghue) and Nikki (Laura Haddock), are at Storage 24 dividing up their possessions after a recent break-up. Suddenly, the power goes off. Trapped in a dark maze of endless corridors, a mystery predator is hunting them one by one. In a place designed to keep things in, how do you get out?
Now that I’ve set the stage a little bit, I can get to my review of the film. First of all, on the cover of the DVD, you can find a quote from Daily Express that says “highly competent”. As I try to think of a better phrase to describe the film, I simply cannot. “Highly competent” really is the best way to describe it. ‘Storage 24’ puts together an interesting story with complex character that the viewers care about. Though it may have a bit of a sci-fi B-movie vibe to it, it’s not exactly one of those crappy SyFy Original movies. I was reminded a lot of ‘Alien’ and ‘District 9’ at various points of the film, but it wasn’t exactly on their level. I found the film to be firmly planted in the middle of the road and filed under okay.
The cast was good and they played their parts well. Not only did you have Mickey from ‘Doctor Who’, but you also had Colin O’Donoghue, who plays Captain Hook in ‘Once Upon A Time’. ‘Storage 24’ was clearly Clarke’s story as his character Charlie had the most development and he was the one that you were really rooting for, but O’Donoghue’s Mark was the more interesting one to me. He was such a snake and a coward despite trying to be so cool and collected. We’ve seen how sinister he can be on the ABC fantasy drama and a lot of that is carried over in this performance as well.
The best part in my opinion was the creature that’s pursuing Charlie, Mark, and the gang and the carnage that it caused. The prosthetics and gore were pretty cool and the character design was very well done. I was half expecting a cheesy, ‘Sharktopus’ type of CG character, but this alien looked like it could be on par with the sort of thing found on ‘Doctor Who’. Actually, I was reminded of a more aggressive version of the prawns from ‘District 9’, so in a way ‘Storage 24’ is on the same level as that crowd-pleaser.
Even though it’s a solidly okay film, it’s creators put it together well. I didn’t find it to be corny at all. There was a good balance of character development and plot advancement. The performances and the production value were good. Like I said before, “highly competent”. However, I think what held it back is that it didn’t really offer anything new to the type of story or the genre. The whole trapped somewhere with a monster that they have to kill sort of story has been done a million times. This just happens to be another one of the million. I’m not discouraging anyone from seeing it, but it’s nothing mind-blowing. I’d say ‘Storage 24’ is one of those movies that you’d see on Netflix where you recognize a few actors and are slightly intrigued by the plot, so you throw it on because you don’t have much else to do.
But you know what they say: You have to know the rules before you can break them. Noel Clarke and company can certainly follow the rules to make an above average sci-fi horror. If you like alien movies but you’re looking for something new that feels sort of old, then ‘Storage 24’ is for you.