Wednesday, 31 August 2011



What is a panic button anyway? It's never raised in the movie (except for one solitary mention in one garbled bit of shouting towards the end) and there isn't actually a physical button to be seen, panic or otherwise. Googling the phrase indicates that it's a Facebook thing that children and teenagers can use to report inappropriate behaviour, but it's scarcely applicable in the case of the film of the same name as all the inappropriate online behaviour is down to the potential victims.

Panic Button has four eminently disposable idiots winning a luxury flight to New York competition on the social networking site All2gether which, at least for the lawyers, is absolutely not Facebook or anything like it, not even a tiny little bit, look, it's even got a completely different name to go along with Friend Lists and Like This and online chats and everything, obviously completely different. After establishing the two girls as pretty but thick as pigswill and the two blokes as sub-Neanderthal bellends with the personality of amoebic dysentery, they suddenly have to play games on the flight which reveal precisely what they've been doing online - every porn video they've watched, the comments they've left, the stupid and callous things they've said in chatrooms. And if they refuse to play these increasingly sinister games, one of their online friends will be randomly selected and executed....

Despite basically being Saw in an aeroplane, this is actually a reasonably entertaining if nonsensical thriller if you can get past the thoroughly unpleasant characters and find it in yourself to actually root for any of them. One confined set, a small number of speaking parts and almost nothing in the way of special effects; the villain is a voiceover for almost the entire running time (represented on the video screens by a cartoon alligator), so it's not an expensive film although it looks terrific. Once the true nature of the flight is revealed and the villain's rationale it gets into the usual shouting and stabbing and sobbing, and racks up a reasonable degree of tension and is generally quite effective. A cautionary tale about exactly what you say and do online, it's pretty undistinguished (it's certainly no Red Eye) but rather good fun. Made in Cardiff.



No comments: