Panic – REVIEW

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.......it was then that he saw someone was watching him with binocluars......

For the Editor this is the sensation he feels when the landlord at The Nags Head asks him to settle his bar tab but for us it’s the new film from director Sean Spencer which is described as a neo noir tale of redemption in contemporary London which is partly right as it is set in London. Starring David Gyasi in his first lead role in writer director Spencer’s film feature film as a music journalist seemingly confined to his high rise flat due to what might be agrophobia and whiles away the hours watching his female Chinese neighbour through his binoculars. It’s all a little bit ‘Rear Window’ if it were not quite so pervy when he’s watching her which immediately makes him less than sympathetic. If he was serious about doing this covertly then don’t do it with your lights on and the curtains wide open…..um ….that’s what someone told us anyway. One night he hooks up with Amy (Pippa Nixon) and after a slightly odd bonk-a-thon where he won’t let her see his chest (though that doesn’t stop the film showing plenty of Nixon’s!) he goes neighbour watching only to see the oriental neighbour get a bit of a kicking from a mysterious male before the blinds are closed and over the next few days as he keeps looking out the window for her only to find her blinds always down and her seeming to have disappeared.

With Amy advising against ringing the police on the ludicrous presumption that police would do nothing the music journalist decides to become an investigative journalist, something which it becomes obvious that he’s clearly not cut out to do if not for the fact that what appears to be agrophobia or more likely panic attacks manifest themselves at inappropriate moments as he tries to find out what happened to the neighbour and where she might be. Director Spenser then delves into the murky London underground scene of what may be a Triad organisation and very quickly the lead character finds himself out of his depth.

This is very much a showcase for Gyasi who in the past has worked with Christopher Nolan albeit in minor roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar which he appeared in at around the same time as Panic which has been sitting on the shelves for 2 years awaiting release. Whether it’s the script or Gyasi but his character veers between passive/aggressive to meek and well mannered to introverted and shy to the occasional flurry of action and Gyasi’s is very good in some scenes but in others is oddly stilted in his delivery which doesn’t sit well with the characters development as he discovers  out more about the neighbour and what she is involved in.

At 85 minutes this is the right length but it does start to drag a little by the end when there should have been more plot points to be uncovered but ultimately leads to a not particularly satisfying denouement. Competently made and with enough to sustain interest it’s probably  a taster of what both director and star are capable of in the future.

Here’s the trailer…….

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