Panic Room

“After Gone Girl, I needed a little more David Fincher in my life. Don’t we all, really?

I’d previously bought this film whilst on a Jared Leto kick, presumably not long after seeing Requiem for a Dream. As I was not yet a Fincher-phile, I didn’t really pay much attention and then promptly forgot everything about the movie. This time, I was very much into it. The cats were too. Lestat sat on my legs staring at the screen the whole time, and Nosferatu was on a giant stuffed teddy bear next to us. Family movie night at the Cave of Wonders!

Jodie Foster’s Meg and her daughter Sarah (pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart) have just moved into an old house in NYC. Unbeknownst to them, the recently deceased former occupant hid a small fortune in a panic room in the house. Not knowing that new residents have moved in, one of the owner’s descendants, Junior (Jared Leto), and his accomplishes Burnham (Forrest Whitaker) and Raoul (Dwight Yoakum) break in to try and steal the money. Meg and Sarah hide in said panic room, only to find that might not be the best idea.

Movies that occur in small spaces are difficult to pull off. If your director doesn’t know what he’s doing, it can feel claustophobic or it can feel very thin. But we all know Fincher knows what he’s doing. The film is incredibly suspenseful (there were many times when I paused mid-stitch in the cross stitch I was working on because I was so absorbed) and effective. It’s interesting how the one room that’s meant to provide safety is the one that brings the most danger.

Foster is such a formidable actress. She’s a no nonsense Mama Bear protecting her cub, no matter what it takes. Such gravitas and determination she brings to the role. Don’t know if it’s surprising or typical, but this may be Kristen Stewart’s career best performance, at least from what I’ve seen. She was actually emoting instead of just brooding or pining, and the little girl had some attitude. Sigh. What happened to her? See kids, this is why not all vampires are good vampires.

In anticipation of Gone Girl a friend had sent me a video detailing a lot of Fincher’s signatures, and it was fun watching for them. Even if this is considered one of his lesser films, there’s no denying he’s a brilliant filmmaker.”

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