Chris Crow’s ground-breaking, hard-edged psycho-cyber horror thriller Panic Button is to get a remastered launch on DVD & Download later this month.A movie that you could say that highlighted the dangers of the social media, but have we learned since its original release?#LetsPlay!
The movie tells the tale of four young people win a trip of a lifetime to New York, courtesy of their favourite social-networking website – All2gethr.com. On board the private jet, their mysterious host invites to take part in the in-flight entertainment – a new online gaming experience. But this is no ordinary game. Trapped at 30,000 feet, they are forced to play for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. They are about to learn that putting your life online can have deadly offline consequences and that there no ESC key…
Panic Button, made in 2011, was one of the first British horror films to explore the dark side of social networking and the perils of sharing too much information online. Played out in a claustrophobic, almost real-time situation, the film taps into pertinent social issues that now have a universal significance in the digital age. Themes such as social media crime, identity theft, cyberbullying, voyeurism, peer pressure, child safety and terrorism all come into play, at a time when iPads and smart phone apps were only in their early generations.
Producer John Shackleton reflects: “iPad’s were not really a thing in 2010 when we were planning Panic Button as the first generation iPad was only released in th US April of that year. We knew we wanted touch screen technology in the jet and so went to great lengths to achieve that despite not having access to that early tech. We wanted our villain to be hiding behind the animated emoji of an Alligator, a subversion of the networking site in the film. Facial tracking was impossible for us in 2010 so we animated it and comped it together in crude form like he was an early adopter of new technology. Now, with the new iPhone X, anyone can hide behind an animated animal emoji which tracks your facial movements. Scary times indeed!”
For our sister site Cinehouse I reviewed the movie in 2011 and here’s how I described Panic Button “Despite its flaws, Panic Button is the best of the bunch in the similar style films, a fun gripping well-executed techno-horror that asks the viewer why so many people entrust so much personal information to social websites. These social sites are the nicotine of today’s young generation, no matter how hard you try you can’t stop going back for more.”
Be it only 6 years ago Social media was still in its infancy, so might be worth a rewatch. You can read my full review here.
Panic Button is being released by Trinity Films, the company behind the highly underrated CineAsia revival. With the movie getting a DVD release on 23rd October from all good retailers including HMV and Amazon.
· Audio Commentary with writers Frazer Lee, John Shackleton & David Shillitoe,
· Trailer Galler
· Gag reel
· Outtake/deleted scenes
· Making of, Gallery
· Guerrilla Filmmakers Masterclass
· Flight School – How to get a film off the ground