Streaming on Amazon Prime!
PANIC BUTTON (2011)
Directed by Chris Crow
Written by Chris Crow, Frazer Lee, John Shackleton, David Shillitoe
Facebook on a Plane may be the best way to summarize this one. Or maybe SAW meets THE SOCIAL NETWORK is more fitting. Either way, this film may use some familiar deadly manipulations from the voice of an unknown assailant, but does so in a highly effective way.
THE PANIC BUTTON centers on four “winners” chosen in a contest to win an all-expense paid trip to New York. The sponsor is a social networking site called Alltogether, which functions much like Facebook. The sponsor is a talking animated alligator. At first, everything seems ok with the winners celebrating, popping the champagne and soaking in the luxurious private jet they are flying in. But when the animated alligator starts to ask personal questions to the contestants, things start to get awkward. Soon, each participant is given a task to perform. If they don’t do their task, one of their friends listed on the website dies. After this revelation, this quartet of folks who have just gotten to know one another are now trapped in a small space with instructions to kill each other.
Though this film will probably be immediately dated in about two years given the transmorphic state of social technology, right now this film is as timely as it is terrifying. Director Chris Crow amps up the tension in the claustrophobic space of the airplane. Though the build is slow, the cast is likable and talented enough to make us forget about the promise of terror as we find out more and more sordid information about all of their online activities. Turns out the group was gathered for a reason and as the passengers tear each other apart, the tone of the film gets pitch black, leading to an ending that is about as dark as it gets.
PANIC BUTTON is a high-tension thriller with a horrifying invisible killer manipulating our worst fears-—being called out for our online activity. This film will send chills down the spine of anyone who has ever logged, blogged, flamed, posted, or tweeted. It’s a smart and creative cautionary tale for the modern socially technological addicted age.