I don't understand why the insectoid creature (gooey droppings, menacing mandibles) in Storage 24 sticks around. After a military plane crashes near a 24/7 storage building in London and it escapes from its cargo container, it stays in the building. Power fluctuations cause lights to go on and off and the electronically controlled gate to drop down, trapping people inside, but the creature bends metal and pummels mortar into powder fairly easily, so I'm at a loss to explain why it sticks around to attack these people, one by one, in tried-and-true horror movie sequencing (or should I say black-and-blue sequencing to be more accurate?). Of course I realize you wouldn't have much of a movie about a monster in a storage facility if it did leave, but I'd expect to see a little more motivation built into the storyline. Critics like me can be annoying like that.
Of those who want to leave the building, there are: Charlie (Noel Clarke) and his recently ex-girlfriend Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes); Charlie's best friend Mark (Colin O'Donoghue); and Shelley's best friend Nikki (Laura Haddock). Also trapped and providing the real potential for red-shirt landing party status, shown in gory closeups, are the storage facility's front office crew and a creepy unshaven fellow hiding out from his wife by living in a storage unit on the fourth floor. Sure, Charlie and friends can get killed, too, but they need to stick around for most of the running time to keep us invested in the drama, right? Besides, we all like Noel Clarke because he's been on Dr. Who, so there's a good reason not to piss us fans off by killing him willy-nilly. He didn't get the girl in Dr. Who, either, so why beat on the poor guy?
While the creature stays in the building, the men driving in the black SUVs pulling up outside, shortly after the plane crashes, don't bother to. Director Johannes Roberts and writers Clarke, Fairbanks, and Small keep the budget well under budget by moving monster, people, and calamity between the storage building's narrow hallways and tight units. There are no expensive military ops to gung-ho through the storage units with automatic weaponry blazing and macho quips of scrappy do's and don'ts while they fight and flight. Instead, Charlie alternates between feeling sorry for himself, being mad at Shelley for ditching him, and working up his anger because she's tossed him out of her life. It takes him and the others a fairly long time to realize there are more important things in life, like staying alive, especially when screams ensue and people go missing.
As we stay inside with them and the creature, half-way in I wished the writers had seen some American storage unit reality shows like Storage Hunters or Auction Hunters (note the dramatic use of "hunters" in each title). The UK writers would have realized the wild and dangerous things to be found squirreled away in storage that could provide more fire-power, or survival assurance, for Charlie and company. After Charlie and Mark knee and elbow their way through HUGE air vents (yes, another independent movie takes the shortcut and budget-wise approach for moving characters around cheaply), they only find a crowbar, a few fireworks, and a battery-operated toy dog. Their finds are put to very good use later on, but I was hoping they'd find a grenade launcher or mini-canon. Given the crazy things these shows find in storage units here in America, it's a let-down to find the Brits are so damn sensible. They should have shot this movie in Texas.
Two-thirds in, the movie finally moves from Charlie's relationship troubles amid intermittent terror to their creature relationship troubles and continuos terror. Shelley is wrong about Charlie: he may not make her laugh anymore or be very exciting, but he knows how to pluck up when death is a storage unit or two away. A few well-timed, deadpan delivered, quips from Charlie perk up the otherwise by the numbers action, and the camera's movement is handled well, especially when the practical makeup and CGI effects mingle. Everyone does the usual dumb-ass actions when confronted by the usual horror-movie-unknown to keep us properly stupefied or mortified.
Not sure if the ending is a good idea, as it cuts into "first" ending (the resolution of the soured relationship and creature menace), but it could make for a fun sequel if the right budget is allocated. Some will lambast Storage 24 for its heavy-handed male-centric view on the relationship breakup, though there is a nice twist with who actually turns out to be the unexciting/you-don't-make-me-laugh-anymore type. It certainly isn't Charlie.