One of the beauties of attending an event like Frightfest is settling in to watch a film with little or no expectations, only to come out buzzing at its conclusion.

And boy does Panic Button fit that bill – a neat, taut, clever little chiller that deserves all the plaudits I can throw at it.

A timely look at the dangers of social networking, the film takes very little time to get going.

Four competition winners, avid users of the networking site, are whisked off to an airport for an all-expenses-paid trip to New York on a private jet.

Plied with free booze, and with lavish prizes awaiting, all seems great for the foursome.

But things take a rapid turn for the sinister when the group are asked to play a series of games for their prizes – games which pick away at their characters and show the darker side of their online personalities.

Soon the four are at each other’s throats as they face up to the realisation that all is very much not what it seems.

This is very much a film that lives or dies by its cast, with the vast majority of the running time seeing the four sat in an airport cabin.

And the good news is the quartet – Scarlett Alice Johnson, Jack Gordon, Michael Jibson and Elen Rhys are all on fine form, fleshing out their characters with enough realism to really make you buy into the whole deal.

The direction from Chris Crow is excellent, keeping the tension rising and the pulse-racing in a claustrophobic setting.

At times the whole thing does seem wildly implausible, but the writers cleverly turn things around to tie up all loose ends pretty neatly by the finish.

Shot for just £300,000 on location in and aroundCardiff(Crow’s birthplace) this really is low-budget filmmaking at its best.

It may not get the cinema release it probably warrants, but Panic Button certainly comes thoroughly recommended.

About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle

3 Responses

  1. Mags

    I highly recommend this film. Suspenseful, fast paced and never a dull moment. It is Gripping. Great story and great acting .Go see. Fantastic.