Deeley is a journalist who must overcome his fears of the outside world to track down a neighbour he witnesses being brutally kidnapped.
This film builds speed with the imperceptibility of a runaway train. A beautifully-shot London forms the backdrop for a film concerned not just with the plot details of kidnap, trafficking and violence, but also with themes of isolation, loneliness and fear.
Deeley is a journalist with agoraphobic issues who passes time in his flat by forming a gentle, binoculars-based obsession with his neighbour-across-the-block Kem. When she is violently kidnapped he becomes compelled to find out what happened to her, but struggles to leave the flat. So far, so ‘Rear Window’. But writer/director Sean Spencer does get his man out of the flat, and into a world of human trafficking, where violence is an uncompromising force.
Deeley is portrayed by the up-and-coming British actor David Gyasi (‘The Cloud Atlas’, ‘Interstellar’) whose nuanced performance never lets Deeley become an action hero but keeps him grounded and realistic: at times terrified, but with a powerful will.
Panic is a fantastic debut from Spencer – a film that eschews the standard feel of its genre tags, whilst still delivering a story of rising tension, stakes and emotion.