Panic Room (2002)

“Yeah, he’s telling the truth… you know how I know? Cause when I do this… [Raoul points the gun at Burnham] …people don’t lie.” – Raoul

Number of Times Seen – 2 (DVD in 2003 and 7 Oct 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A recently divorced woman and her daughter move into a new house in New York City and get caught off guard when three thieves break in one night to steal a fortune hidden in their apartment by the previous owner.

My Take on it – This is a film that has quite an interesting premise yet it doesn’t manage to keep things as intriguing as it possibly could have.

Part of the problem is the pairing of Jodie Foster and Kirsten Stewart as Mother and daughter since their relationship isn’t believable at all.

David Fincher is a very talented director and he manages to cleverly use a very cramped environment.

Unfortunately, some scenes feel as if that cramped space is too wide open and it loses the effect created when things are more claustrophobic.

The level of suspense isn’t consistent enough and it feels like one is on a roller coaster where one moment things feel suspenseful while the next loses the feeling completely.

This inconsistency makes the viewer care even less about what will happen to the characters.

The plot of this film is very similar to the film Wait Until Dark (1967) which is able to keep things more interesting and suspenseful the entire time.  Audrey Hepburn does a much better job than Foster manages here.

The supporting cast of this film is quite talented with Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam and Jared Leto as the three thieves, but none of them feel developed enough to be more than two dimensional.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that doesn’t work as well as it probably could have. Foster and Stewart don’t work well enough as a believable mother-daughter. The film’s cleverly uses a cramped environment but in some ways it feels too large even at that. Fincher directs this film quite well but still doesn’t manage to raise the level of suspense high enough to make things thrilling enough to actually care about what happens along the way.  Wait Until Dark (1967) does this kind of plot much better.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The shot of Sarah’s medical bag sliding along the floor outside the panic room took 103 takes. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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4 thoughts on “Panic Room (2002)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2002 |

  2. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Acting School 101 – November 2020 – Jodie Foster

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