Friday, February 3, 2017

Burn Down The Disco, or Thoughts on Panic Room

Director David Fincher’s next film after Fight Club (1999) was the locked room/updated Hitchcock thriller Panic Room (2002), which was originally cast with Nicole Kidman and Hayden Panittiere (I know, so early 00’s, right?).  Instead we get living legend Jodie Foster and a 10 year-old Kristen Stewart in her second film, as Meg Altman and her daughter Sarah, a newly divorced single mom with a settlement large enough to buy an Upper West Side Manhattan brownstone.
The titular panic room will get a workout; because the first night these two gals move in they experience a home invasion from Forrest Whitaker, Jared Leto and Dwight Yoakam.  And did I mention that the kid has diabetes and Dwight Yoakam plays the wild card/sociopath?  Because these movies are all about amping up the tension.
Essentially a modern Three Little Pigs with a high tech twist, the movie is artfully directed and perfectly framed; the camera becomes a silent accomplice as it glides around the frankly spectacular apartment.  The geometric opening credits echo the New York architecture and subtly reference iconic designer Saul Bass and his credits for movies like North by Northwest (1959).

It is a treat to see Kristen Stewart zipping around a house that’s the size of a small hotel on a razor scooter (to remind you that it’s 2002), and you can always rely on Jodie Foster and Forrest Whittaker for consistently compelling and stellar performances.  Reminiscent of Wait Until Dark (1967), Dial M for Murder (1954) and the remake, A Perfect Murder (1998), Panic Room fits into a curious sub-genre that i just made up for this blog; rich New Yorkers who live in lovely houses, terrorized by poor people.



my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).