Review

Four winners of a competition from Social Network site All2gethr.com are being flown on a private jet to New York on an all expenses trip. After the usual brief introductions the 4 are given a game to play by the mysterious voice from All2gethr.com which involves some very exposing questions about each of the winners proving that Big Brother really is watching your every move across the Internet. With a series of twists and turns that drive the story forward, Panic Button takes some of the best bits from modern day horror/thrillers and throws them into the mix – we find out the results…

Panic Button film review PlayEject

Luxury Private jet to NYC – just read the T & C's

After leaving her young daughter safely at home with gran, Jo (Scarlett Alice Johnson – Adulthood) gets on board the luxury private jet with the rest of the lucky winners heading to New York. The mix of personalities makes for some uncomfortable times with the in-your-face Dave (Michael Gibson – Cemetery Junction) taking advantage of the free drinks to make him even more annoying and hassle the other girl on the plane, Gwen (Elen Rhys – Torchwood) and the quiet, level-headed Max (Jack Gordon – Primeval).

To help pass the time of the flight and as a welcome distraction from Dave’s overbearing personality, the competition runners and Social Networking site All2gethr.com provide a game for the group to play. After accepting the standard terms and conditions, the first round kicks off with a mysterious voice coming from the planes’ speaker system asking each question. What feels casual and relaxed at first soon takes a dark turn for the worse as the first round of questions embarrass each member of the group with some very personal secrets.

As the game progresses, the uneasy atmosphere catapults into overdrive as the group realise that they are not headed for New York and they have been set up by the mysterious voice. Trying to escape while in a private jet with no outside communication causes panic to set in and the darker side of each of the group comes out as they are given lifelines to save their loved ones from torture and death by performing certain deeds.

At first Panic Button feels like it is going to be fairly mundane and another run-of-the-mill modern horror/thriller. But the different personalities of the cast as well as the back-stories of each being slowly revealed to fill in the gaps keeps you drawn in to the plot. There’s a considerable nod to the Saw franchise with the calm and mysterious voice who is the overseeing mastermind behind everything but with some new and original twists on the whole ‘Big Brother’ and being watched.

Panic Button film review PlayEject

Things take a turn for the worst – Panic Button

Because Panic Button is mostly filmed aboard the private jet, the captive spaces add to the sense of panic, fear and desperation that is carried over from the actors to the audience – the helplessness that is put on each when they see live footage of their loved ones captured and being tortured when they get questions wrong from the quiz provides another layer to the story by bringing factors outside of their own immediate safety.

All in all, Panic Button exceeded our expectations – a well written story that deserves to be amongst some of the best modern day thrillers. Granted, Panic Button will not appeal to everyone and some may find some of the violent scenes a bit too extreme but everything is done in relation to the story and not at all gratuitous. Panic Button is our PlayEject sleeper hit of 2011 so far…!

Panic Button trailer:

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