Panic Room

Starring: Jodie Foster, Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam and Holt McCallany
RRP: £14.99
C820 9193
Certificate: 15
Available now

Trapped in their New York apartment's "panic room", a hidden chamber built as a sanctuary in the event of break-ins, a newly-divorced woman, Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) and her young daughter, Sarah, play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with three intruders during a brutal home invasion. What do you do when your hiding place is their destination?...

The answer to this question is... not a lot, actually. Apart from sitting in the room and avoiding all the things the bad guys do to try and get in. The main problem with Panic Room is that it tries to create a fear in the viewer from something that is not very scary - being trapped in a room and all the horrible things that this could entail. But it never succeeds because the heroine is never really trapped.

Not only that, but the bad guys are laughably dim. All except for the big lug who fitted the panic room in the first place. But he is too nice to be involved in such a scheme and by the conclusion of the movie you really feel for this guy who wants to be good, but life has obviously crapped on him from a great height.

I am claustrophobic, but the fact that the exit was always there as an option eased most of the tension that should have been an integral part of this movie. Also, can anyone please tell me why the guy who installed the room in the first place didn't use the intercom unit (which we see Jodie Foster's character using later) to talk to Ms Foster in the first place. That way a long movie could have been shortened to the 20 mins of screen time it really only warrants.

All of the performances are above average, it's just that there's very little script present to keep up the momentum. You do get plenty of shots of Ms Foster running around with her cleavage swinging from side to side. I'm sorry, but not even that can make this into a watchable movie.

Nick Smithson

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