Self Storage (2013) Review

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Rated: R

93 mins.

 Written & Directed by: Tom DeNucci

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Tom DeNucci is a name to keep an eye on, not just because he’s from my home state of Rhode Island, but because this is his directorial debut and Self Storage is pretty damned entertaining.  The story, although it basically falls into basic slasher territory, adds some unique elements to the mix.  It follows Jake, played by the director himself, an inept stoner who’s employed at the local self storage facility as a security guard.  Oh yeah, he also lives there.  Upon learning his job is about to be terminated, Jake decides to host a party in a storage unit in the hopes of winning back his ex-girlfriend.

Something sinister is afloat as Jake’s friends begin to be picked off one-by-one as the night of partying goes on.  Turns out his boss Walter, played by the great Eric Roberts, is also a mad surgeon who cuts people open while they are still alive and removes their organs.  All so he can sell the organs to Jonah, portrayed by Jonathan Silverman, who in turn sells them on the Black Market.  But due to a new deadline and the need for more product, Jake’s friends fit the bill.

Let the body harvest commence!

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Positives:

Great Use of Genre Actors:  Eric Roberts, Jonathan Silverman and Michael Berryman, do I have to say anything else?  Eric Roberts is genuinely creepy as Walter, someone that hides himself in the open as the understanding manager but secretly cuts up bodies to remove their organs.  Michael Berryman, who is an intimidating figure himself, plays Trevor the security guard.  He gathers the bodies for Walter to operate on.  Jonathan Silverman, in my opinion a very underrated performer, plays Jonah the coke-loving Black Market dealer.  His over-the-top performance left me wanting to see more of his character.

Interesting Body Harvesting Angle:  The slasher sub-genre is filled with an uncreative catalogue of films with nothing unique about them except that it’s a different killer who’s slaughtering people.  Self Storage gives the villains a plausible reason to be killing people, which is Black Market organ harvesting.  Sacrificing innocent lives in the hopes of making a quick buck, people have definitely murdered for less.  Much credit goes to the screenplay.

Good Amount of Nudity and Violence:  Self Storage gave us two amazing sets of boobs that belonged to two amazingly beautiful woman.  Trust me, that is something every horror fanatic can get behind.  Overall, I wished there was more gore in this film but there were a couple of gruesome scenes that were quite effective.  The first being the brutal removing of a kneecap without anesthetic that was cringe-worthy, and the second being an eyeball removal scene.

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Negatives:

Some Bad Acting:  The genre actors were all fantastic and the lead, Tom DeNucci, made for a likable convincing lead.  Hell, even Jake’s love interest was good.  The main problem I had were the rest of the supporting cast who, like a lot of low budget flicks, were mainly unlikable and served no point except to do drugs, have sex and get killed.  They were mediocre performances where audiences couldn’t wait to see their characters die.  But thankfully the movie was still entertaining despite this.

Overuse of Songs:  There were moments in the film, especially during some of the extended party scenes, where songs were used obtrusively and took me out of the movie.  I understand that they are partying but during those scenes you could have developed the side characters more through their interactions with each other.  There were other times when this was a problem.  I think the movie would have been more effective if there was more of a score to the film.  Songs can fit a movie greatly, just look at Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, but it just didn’t work for me here.

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Despite a couple of shortcomings, Self Storage was an effective and highly entertaining first attempt at a horror feature.  Tom DeNucci is someone to pay close attention to. His next film also features Eric Roberts, entitled Army of the Damned.  The great use of genre favorites and the entire concept of body harvesting serial killers was a novel twist on a stale genre that desperately needs life.  The movie is available for purchase on Amazon, ITunes and can be rented On Demand on Verizon.  Be sure to catch Tom and the rest of his crew and actors at this years Rock N’ Shock horror fest, October 18-20th in Worcester, Mass.

Self Storage is well worth a watch and honestly Eric Roberts is the shit.  I’ll take him over Julia any day of the week.

7.5/10