HIDDEN CULT CLASSIC
, 05 Oct 2012
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
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This nifty little thriller went straight to DVD in most countries including the UK. It's a real injustice that such a creative genre flick gets shelved when unimaginative crap like Demons Never Die somehow manage it. With enough social comment and thrills to fill twenty Hollywood slasher flicks, horror fans wont regret spending ninety minutes off the beaten track. The highest profile actor present is former Eastenders star Scarlet Alice Johnson (PIMP) plays one of four lucky winners of a competition by the fictional social networking site - All2GetherDOTcom. The four strangers win an all expenses trip to New York via private jet. Once settled on board, they are invited to take part in the inflight entertainment, where via some computer screens they are asked ever personal questions based on their internet profiles by an animated character called The Alligator (voiced by JOSHUA RICHARDS).
What begins as a potentially vapid and predictable horror romp, in which we fully expect the pretty young things to meet ugly fates throws, in enough invention and wit that we forget the iffy first ten minutes. As the four, a recovering alcoholic and single mother (Johnson), a laid back mystery man (JACK GORDON - THE DEVIL'S BUSINESS), a sexy blonde (ELEN RHYS - DEVIL'S BRIDGE) and the standard annoying d*ckhead (MICHAEL JIBSON - THE BANK JOB) have their most private and initially embarrassing online behaviour patterns exposed they begin to notice an inescapable trap closing behind them. Each level of the game has even higher stakes and the outcome, although fairly easy to unravel still makes for a very enjoyable journey.
Panic Button possesses a great script and urgent performances that are probably convincing portrayals of what would happen if people were put in a situation as effed up as this. Making the most of a miniscule budget and a handful of locations, this manages to keep you gripped. There have been comparisons made to the Saw series and whilst there are some similarities The Alligator's wrath is solely aimed at those that misuse the internet as a vessel for sick entertainment. Jigsaw (of Saw), wanted to punish just about everybody! It really says something that it takes a very gory horror thriller to get the message over. A message that as a society, we are becoming more in tune with violence and becoming more emotionally distant from the horrific elements. It deals with identity as well and how you can be anybody on the internet. You can essentially hide from the real you. The Alligator is there to punish but also to expose the hypocrisies in today's internet reliant society. All this from a low budget horror flick that should have gone further than the cheap shelves in Asda. Film snobbery about the horror industry has meant a lot of horror hounds may have passed this by. Let's redress the balance. Watch this and tell a friend....
8 out 10 - Potential for a cult UK horror here! A buried direct to DVD wonder from 2011 needs an audience! Get hold of a copy and have a guilt free and thrilling 90 minutes from possibly the best UK horror in 5 years. If I can think of a better one, I'll edit this post later.....
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