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Panic Room

Panic Room

Looks like Jodie Foster learned how to be strong and gutsy from her Silence of the Lambs character.

Separated from her rich husband, Meg (Foster) and her teen daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart) move into a four floor Manhattan townhouse.  The film opens with a tour of the cavernous rooms as shown by a realtor.

The house has a "panic room" on the top floor which was installed by the previous owner who reportedly hid a fortune in his home before he died.  He was afraid of thieves, so the room is reinforced with steel, has its own separate air and electricity supply and is supposedly impregnable.

Meg and Sarah move in and on the first night in the new house, three intruders, Junior (Jared Lento), Burnham (Forest Whitaker) and Raoul (Dwight Yoakum), break in looking for the loot.  With the use of video cameras positioned throughout the house and screens located in Meg's bedroom and in the panic room, we get to follow the strategy of the thieves.

The psychological cat and mouse game is enhanced by the set-up of the house itself.  With one large staircase that runs on one end of the house and connects all four floors, the women can watch on the surveillance cameras as the thieves move closer to where Meg and Sarah are holed up.

Junior, who set up the break in thinking that the townhouse was still empty, has Raoul join as the last minute addition to his group.  Raoul is the out-of-control bad guy who thinks that violence is the best way to deal with everything; his character plays off Burnham, who just wants to do the job without anyone getting hurt.

Burnham is the smartest of the three, but for every trick he comes up with, Meg and her daughter counter with one of their own.  No shrinking violets here.

Reportedly, Jodie Foster turned down a second role as Clarice in Hannibal because of the violence.  If true, she must have changed her thinking, because there's a ton of it going on in the Panic Room.

When one thing after another is thrown at a so-called "defenseless" character they turn things around by being smart and refusing to be a victims.

Panic Room keeps the stress level high throughout and gives us a solid thrilling ride.

Panic Room

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