Writer and director Sean Spencer’s debut feature film, ‘Panic’, may have been created on a micro budget, but this is rendered insignificant with the film’s high production values and David Gyasi (Interstellar) playing the lead, an agoraphobic called Andrew Deeley, exceptionally well.
The opening visuals are underscored with muffled conversation and music; moving to a wide-windowed tower block apartment in London, filled with vinyl records and a guitar in the corner. It is here that Andrew, a music journalist, learns of an attack on someone in the neighbouring building, a woman he has been watching from afar for some time.
As the story unfolds in this 85-minute thriller, Andrew feels he has no choice but to take on the task of finding out what has happened to the woman who no longer appears at her window. Offering an intriguing look into isolation, morality and compulsion, you may wonder why Andrew is so compelled to help this stranger, in a time and city where a lack of concern for fellow human beings feels so commonplace. Even with the detrimental consequences of Andrew’s foolhardiness, being able to root for a modern-day hero, an idealist in ordinary man’s clothing is refreshing.
Panic has all the elements you could wish for; clever dialogue, a well-paced story, immersive cinematography, a talented cast (it must also be said, with the interspersion of close ups, a rather good looking one), notable performances by Pippa Nixon and Jason Wong. Significant, but thankfully, often subtle musical components add to the intensity of the action in this well crafted movie.
Up-and-coming Panic screenings:
- Dec 12 – 8:30pm Picturehouse Stratford – with special Q&A hosted by ‘Lilting’ director, Hong Khauo
- Dec 16 – 7:30pm Bernie Grant Centre
- Jan 6 – 7:30pm Bernie Grant Centre