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Movie of the Day: Panic Room


Panic Room (2002)


Where to Watch (for free!): https://guide.bundlertv.com/programs/Panic%20Room_5ae2f088bf1c0563b8d7e2a9


What Is It?


Single mom Meg (Jodie Foster) and daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart, in one of her first roles) discover the reason the previous owner of their ridiculously fabulous New York residence installed a panic room. When three criminals (Forest Whitaker, Dwight Yoakam, Jared Leto) break into the house, Meg and Sarah retreat to the room for safety. Instead, the cat-and-mouse game between the home invaders and the trapped family turns into a anxious techno-thriller from director David Fincher.


What’s Cool About It?


Panic Room kicked off the “contained thriller” trend of the 2000’s and 2010’s. Fincher is considered a master of cinematic tension, and this film tends to get overlooked in his ability to create suspense from a small setting. More often than not, the single location plot device grows out of budgetary constraints, but Fincher chose to set a relatively large studio production in a single home. Instead, he uses the “limitations” of the genre to explore his interests in technology, privacy, and criminal psychology. The cast also features three Oscar winners (and we all know Kristen Stewart is going to get hers someday), and the film relies as much on the performances as it does on the high tech home setting.


Does It Have a Legacy or Am I Wasting My Time (If Not My Money)?


Depending on your perspective, director David Fincher gets a lot of love or hype from the online film geek community. Either way, Panic Room tends to get lost in the discourse about his work (a status that more deservedly belongs to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). At the very least, this movie popularized the term “panic room” into an everyday saying that we all know and love to use, both literally and metaphorically, and the term scores bonus points for not having the dubious legacy of “snowflake” from Fincher’s Fight Club. The film itself is probably not Fincher’s magnum opus, and it definitely lacks the shock value of stuffing a famous actress’s decapitated head in a box, but now feels like as good a moment as any to revisit Panic Room for its depiction of how technology and security intersect in our everyday lives.


What People Who Liked It Said:

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/panic-room-2002

https://www.laweekly.com/film/home-security-2134586

https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/panic-room-255632/


What Someone Who Thought It Was Meh Said:

http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar/29/entertainment/et-turan29

Where to Watch (for free!): https://guide.bundlertv.com/programs/Panic%20Room_5ae2f088bf1c0563b8d7e2a9


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