Panic rooms were rooms put into the castles of olden times where you'd go when you panicked. No, we aren't talking about the loo. We aren't talking about the make-up room either, 'cos we are not talking about only women either. The panic room is the equivalent of the Hathiyon Ka Jhaad of Golconda Fort. Hide till there is no reason left to hide.
This room has 3 inches of steel around it, surrounded by concrete and all. The provisions inside are enough to last out one of Cromwell's sieges. And the door is huge and ends up mashing up one of the bad guys' extremities. Try cracking this one!
And inside the room are Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) and her daughter Sarah Altman (Kristen Stewart). Why are they in there, you might ask. Well, they checked into this huge house for some arbit reasons, and this house has this room. And three goons, Burrham (Forest Whitaker), Junior (Jared Leto) and Raoul (Dwight Yoakam), break in in an attempt to steal 22 million dollars in cash which is hidden in the house.
They don't know Meg and daughter are in, and Meg and daughter don't know they are in. Finally, when everyone knows everyone else is in, Meg and daughter seek refuge in the Panic Room, and the trio just plain panic 'cos the money is in the room. A cat and mouse game follows, and ends at last with the movie.
Not much of a story here. Just Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker and the same guy who made a masterpiece called Seven. That is almost enough, considering the brilliance of each of these factors.
The atmosphere builds right from the word go, and the director takes advantage of Meg's claustrophobia to introduce spooky music. Then the thugs break in without much ado. And Burrham is doomed to be the good guy bad guy, 'cos Whitaker is always the good guy, good guy or bad guy. The only time he was REALLY bad was in Battlefield Earth, and look at what he had to do to his face there to get away with the act.
Junior and Raoul are funny in parts, but never really menacing. After a certain amount of time the movie begins to drag. In Seven, the director had the seven deadly sins to play around with. Here he just has one 10 by 10 room.
The movie tries to be a psychological thriller á la Seven, and it tries to relieve the tension with some funny lines here and there. It ends up dangling in between. One of the scenes where Meg shows some spunk has to be the funniest in the movie. I loved it in particular. Junior looks 'hot' in that scene! But sorry Mr. Fincher, right moves, wrong reasons.