26 November 2016



We all live in little boxes. Did you ever notice that? Yeah, sure, some people's boxes are bigger and more luxuriously-apppointed than other folks' boxes, but basically we all live in boxes. Alfred Hitchcock, the world's greatest director ever bar none (wanna argue about it...?!), made a whole marvellous film around this very concept in REAR WINDOW (1954), a film of which the director of PANIC is obviously a huge fan. This idea of 'box-living' is strongly reinforced in PANIC, in fact, the excellent thriller we're looking at today.

Andrew Deeley lives in a box. It's a gorgeous little apartment box, to be precise, in a fancy high-rise apartment block with the panoramic London skyline as his view. And he really lives in it, as well. It doesn't seem like he's left it much, if at all, for the last eight months.

A traumatic incident has left him hiding out in his luxury minimalistic apartment for the best part of a year, swallowing anti-depressants wholesale and battling increasing agoraphobia. His flat has really become his box, a box outside which he's terrified to step because, as we all know, there are bad things and bad people out there.

Still, there's not much a modern man needs to go outside his home for these days. You can call the takeaway for your dinner or order your groceries or even your clothes online. Deeley works as a music journalist and his accommodating boss, Pete, allows him to work from home, interviewing bands over the phone and reviewing new music and writing up the reviews on his laptop.

What about sex? Well, Deeley's got that covered too. He can find a sexual partner over the Internet who's willing to come to his home for a few hours of 'genuine uncomplicated pleasure.' 

So you see, there's not much a modern bloke needs to look outside his box for. If he's got his laptop and his mobile phone, he can stay home for the rest of his life if he wants to. Bit depressing, though...!

A word about Deeley. He's utterly believable as a music journalist. Tall, black, well-built, early thirties, shaved head, good-looking, well-dressed but not a slave to fashion. He's the kind of guy that women of all types and ages fall over themselves to get with when they meet him at parties or in the course of his work. I must admit, I quite fancy a bit of Deeley himself...!

His apartment's got polished wooden floors and fancy shelving units that house hundreds and hundreds of vinyl records. He drinks designer beers out of ice-cold long-neck bottles from a fridge that probably stores nothing else. He must have led a pretty sweet life before the incident occurred that caused him to hole up in his box like a hurt animal licking his wounds.

There are two more imortant things to know about Deeley. Firstly, during his self-imposed incarceration in his box, he's taken to spying (with binoculars) on the attractive young Chinese woman whose own little box- ahem- is located in the building opposite Deeley's.

I don't really think he's doing it in a pervy or sick muthaf***a kind of way. I think he's just desperately lonely, plus he's a red-blooded male and the girl is good-looking. Guys are gonna look, aren't they...? There's no harm in it. Or is there...?

Just to note that this theme of voyeurism also co-exists alongside the living-in-a-box theme in Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW. When people live cheek-by-jowl in boxes and glasshouses, you're gonna get a few looky-loos, right...? It's pretty much unavoidable, it seems to me.

The second thing you need to know about Deeley is that one day, he has sex in his box with a woman called Michelle who does this kind of thing all the time for kicks, the slut. While Deeley's back is turned for a minute, Michelle sees something deeply disturbing happening in the Chinese woman's apartment. It's so disturbing, in fact, that Deeley feels compelled to do something about it. But what can he do? He's the big shut-in, after all, isn't he...?

This is a slick, sexy stylish thriller that also manages to be gritty and utterly believable. The seedy underworld that Deeley is drawn into in his attempts to help a woman he's never met is all too real, sadly, as is the world in which people meet over the Internet and have soulless, meaningless but pleasurable sex which, once in a blue moon, just might lead to something more...

David Gyasi's portrayal of a man with obvious POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER is spot-on and very sympathetic. My one regret is that we never get to meet Pete, Deeley's sexy-voiced boss whose London accent over the phone would melt the knickers off a whole order of nuns, haha.

This brilliant thriller is in cinemas from the 18th Nov., 2016 and on VOD (VIMEO ON DEMAND) from the 21st Nov., 2016. If you should happen to come across this film in your travels, you absolutely must watch it. It'd be well worth the ninety odd minutes of your time. That's my gift to you guys today, haha, the benefit of my oh-so-humble opinion. Don't look that gift-horse in the mouth, y'all...!


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


 You can contact Sandra at:


No comments:

Post a comment