Welcome to Friday Night Flix, where there’s never a need to leave the couch or put on pants. Each week I’ll recommend an under-the-radar movie currently available on one or more of the major streaming platforms. They won’t all be classics, but every selection is guaranteed to be 100% watchable or your money back.
This one feels like cheating because it’s been squarely on my scope for the last year or so. But I’m thinking you all may not have heard about Storage 24 yet. (Netflix, $3.99 on Amazon.) That’s great news for you because the universe of decent sci-fi horror is relatively narrow. If I had to guess I’d say it’s because quality sci-fi of any stripe usually requires a steep budget, and horror movies are famous for not needing to spend money to make money. So when a microbudget sci-fi horror flick turns out to be pretty good, it’s something worth celebrating. Huzzah!
Storage 24 is far from perfect, but it’s a positive delight in many respects. The thing it does best is the ol’ turnabout. I won’t give anything away but I was definitely surprised by who made it to the end, and who ended up being the most useless character. Maybe the defiance of convention is just a product of British sensibilities, but whatever it is, it feels like a breath of fresh air after spending the night in a storage unit.
The creature (spoiler alert: there’s a creature) could have used a little more time on the drawing board, but you have to give it points for creativity. It’s got Oscar Pistorius blade feet things, spider leg mandible things, and sparkly, side-mounted eyeball things, suggesting it’s a distant relative of C.H.U.D. It’s like the director couldn’t decide between five different creature models, so he smoked a huge spleef and glued together his favorite parts from each. The end result isn’t original Predator bad, but…well actually, holy shit, that’s pretty much exactly what it is. Whatever. Even if it appears gangly at times, Storage 24’s monster is certainly unusual and that alone is worth something.
Added bonus: No guns! I tried and failed to come up with another sci-fi horror movie that doesn’t feature a firearm of some kind. I dare you to try it. (Did you guess Alien 3? WRONG. Remember the very last scene?) Whether it’s space blasters, a dead security guard’s revolver or a fucking flare gun, there’s always a gun somewhere. You need it so that at the end the heroine can drag herself across the floor, grab it and shove it in the evil alien’s mouth hole while screaming, “ABDUCT THIS!” Not so in Storage 24. Our heroes make do with crowbars and steak knives. The movie even pokes fun at American audiences a little when one character finds a box imprinted with the silhouette of an automatic rifle. Inside? Toys! You humans and your guns.