Noel Clarke on the making of his sci-fi horror debut Storage 24

Doctor Who star Noel Clarke introduces his sci-fi horror movie Storage 24, in cinemas now. Have you seen it yet?

Noel Clarke Storage 24 Laura Haddock
Noel Clarke Storage 24 Laura Haddock
Noel Clarke and Laura Haddock in Storage 24, in cinemas now.

How did you come up with the idea for Storage 24?

I came up with the idea because I went to storage facilities a couple of times with my wife when she had to get stuff there for work. She’d be doing what she was doing and I’d just be walking around thinking ‘this place is quite freaky!’ You know: these sterile corridors, they’re all the same, and sometimes you’d walk back and be like ‘where are they?’ and then realise it’s the next corridor along! I thought it’d be good to write a film where people were trapped inside and there was a serial killer in there; that was my original idea.

So that pottered around in my head for a while, and I was gonna team up with this other guy, but he wanted the people trapped in there to find mystical weapons and I was like, ‘pfft, I don’t like that!’ So he went off his way with his idea and I went with my idea, and one day I woke up and thought, ‘I’m a sci-fi head, I love sci-fi, I’ve written Torchwood, I was in Doctor Who… an alien would be cool!’

The alien itself is pretty striking looking – is that how you imagined it? Are you happy with how it turned out?

I’m very happy with it! I kind of let the director, Johannes, have his final say of how he wanted it, but I gave him a base model when I started, and the base model was Carnage, a Spider-Man villain. I said ‘it’s gotta be humanoid, I want it to be on two feet’ – I mean, a couple of times it does go on all fours, but I wanted it to be on its feet. So he went off with that, and made what he wanted to do, and sent me pictures, and I was like “yeah… no… I like that bit…” and then we eventually got what we got.

Let’s talk about your character a little bit. He goes on a journey through the film, really – he finds himself, or proves himself, maybe?

Yeah: both, I think. Charlie’s kind of a downtrodden whinger, a 9 to 5 guy. You know, there’s always something to moan about, and he kind of thinks about himself a lot, and takes his girlfriend for granted, which is why they’re in the situation they’re in, separating their stuff in storage.

I think this journey enables him to learn to become a man and learn how to do stuff for other people as opposed to himself, and by the end, he’s thinking about, you know, ‘I have to go and do this for other people’ rather than ‘what am I gonna do about this’ and ‘what am I gonna do about that.’ I think that was important to have him go on that journey. And for me to play a weak character was important, because I’ve tried to change what I do a little bit over the last few years, and so that was something I really wanted to do.