PANIC (2014)

Andrew Deeley doesn’t have a special set of skills but he does have the resolve to find out who took his connection to the outside world in Sean Spencer’s debut film that combines Taken and Rear Window. Andrew isn’t confined to his apartment by physical limitations but instead he suffers from severe depression, panic attacks, and agoraphobia after an incident nearly a year ago. You can watch it now on Amazon video to find out if Andrew and his new friend Michelle can find a missing woman only Andrew knows exists.
The Good:
This movie, top to bottom, was very well acted, starting with star David Gyasi as Andrew Deeley, a mild-mannered music journalist who yearns for connection but is held back by fear. Gyasi gave a great physical performance. The fear he was able to display with his face and eyes, on top of the ability to shake like a leaf, really conveyed the notion that he was absolutely terrified and that it took a massive display of will to get him out of his front door and into the story.
Pippa Nixon is very good as Michelle, a character with her own secrets, because you like her then hate her and like her again as her role in the story evolves. Jason Wong plays Dao, the leader of one of the three Chinese gangs that work in London. He is a bit of an anti-villain. He does nothing very good, he is just nicer about it than the old crime bosses. There’s no lack of violence on Dao’s part, however. If Andrew chooses to cross him, Dao would surely leave him in pieces. 

The story is very good at hitting your emotions because you feel bad for Andrew and everything that has happened to him and what he goes through for Kem. Although, it doesn’t take long to find out that, while his life isn’t perfect, he is far from the most unfortunate soul in London.
The Bad:
The limited number of shooting locations and the smaller budget make the film feel a little small. While it undoubtedly takes place in an English city, we see none of the famous landmarks that make you feel like you are watching a London-based tale.
The story doesn’t get wrapped up as cleanly as some people would like and that could be a hindrance for them and their overall enjoyment. I think it ends in a fairly logical point, but pleasing a mass audience is how movies make money and are able to keep new actors and directors working.
I think there was a little too much emphasis placed on Andrew’s job. The movie opens with an extended titles sequence as we hear him conducting multiple interviews, he talks on the phone to his boss Pete several times and we get to see him doing another phone interview before the “investigation” takes over his life. I know we need to see what he is willing to give up for Kem but it doesn’t do much for the story and could have been removed and replaced with more investigating.
Another issue is that it can be hard to find online. If you look at Amazon it says it is a 2017 movie. IMDB has it listed as Panic (2014) and released in 2016. It is not unusual for smaller films to have distribution issues but the multitude of years listed could lead to confusion in locating the correct movie.
Recommendable or Not:
I would recommend this movie to anyone that is a fan of the noir or thriller genres. It is not a perfect film, so it may not appeal to everyone, but it is very good and goes by quickly at just 85 minutes. It is also not a film that you can just have on in the background. It needs and deserves your attention so you can follow the story. Find it here and see what you think. 

BY James Lindorf

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