I recorded this at some point last week on a whim. I’d been told a wide variety of things about it from it being absolutely fantastic to it being absolutely terrible. Having admired Fincher’s work on Fight Club, I decided I would give it a go. Image

The story is that of a recently divorced woman, Meg Altman, and her potty-mouthed eleven year old diabetic daughter, Sarah, who move into a very big old house with a… you guessed it! Panic Room. Their first night doesn’t go very well… (what luck, a break in on the first night you stay at your new house!) and they end up with three men, one armed with a gun, breaking into their home. Naturally, Meg and Sarah escape to the panic room which is sure to keep them safe. Right? Wrong. Conveniently, the thing the men are looking for is in the panic room. To make matters worse, diabetic Sarah has a seizure and needs her emergency glucagon. Which is outside of the room. But hey, you can’t blame Meg for not having planned ahead. Who would have guessed that someone would have broken into this old, big, empty house on the night a single mother and her daughter moved in?

ImageNow, the acting is perfectly fine. In fact, it’s more than perfectly fine. It’s pretty damned good. You really believe Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver) as this single mother, trying to protect her daughter, and her home. You kind of sympathise with her, she’s frightened, she’s alone, and there is no way out of the house without encountering the three men. Even pre-Bella Swan Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Adventure Land) is a good character, and even caused me to laugh a few times. Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and Dwight Yoakam play their characters well. The problem… well it’s the story.Image

It’s a bit boring really. Some of the shots are great; the turning of the camera so that Jodie Foster is straight up and the man in the doorway is sideways is a nice shot, and there are plenty more nice shots in the film. Unfortunately, after an initially thrilling game of cat and mouse between the two parties, you really find the clichés of the genre cropping up. And there are quite a few plot holes which are failed to be covered up. For example, why on EARTH didn’t meg ask the three men what they wanted and negotiate with them? That would have saved a lot of pain and time. 

Verdict: Acting: Fine. Plot: Not so. However, it wasn’t as god-awful as I had been told it was, nor was it as fantastic. 3.5/5

 

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