PANIC BUTTON (2011) Reviews and overview

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‘The UK’s first social network horror’

Panic Button is a 2011 British horror thriller film directed by Chris Crow from a screenplay by Frazer Lee.


Four young people win a competition of a lifetime; Jo (Scarlett Alice Johnson), Max (Jack Gordon) Gwen (Elen Rhys – Season of the Witch) and Dave (Michael Jibson) head off on an all expenses paid trip to New York, courtesy of social network As they board the private jet, they are asked to relinquish their mobile phones and take part in the in-flight entertainment – a new online gaming experience…



“It’s well worth watching for its insights into modern culture, and it sure as hell helps that the whole show is very gripping, disturbing stuff. The cast are all excellent in their roles, and manage to elicit a degree of sympathy in their altogether human natures. For a film with essentially four actors and one set, this thing flies, (no pun intended), and its a ride you really should think about taking.” The Horror Hotel


“Ironically, given that it’s a film about information sharing, not quite enough is conveyed about the captives to round them out. Crow sustains enough tension within the confines of the plane cabin to sustain interest, but long before it’s over, doubts about the premise have diffused any tension. 95 minutes on Facebook might be more fun.” Ed Whitfield, The Ooh Tray



The undercooked climax and frankly preposterous final scene prove difficult to forgive, but the efforts of a great cast, and some genuine talent behind the camera, manage to keep Panic Button elevated above average. With a slightly different direction in the second half, it likely could have been so much more; yet, as it stands, it is still well worth your time.” Gareth Jones, Dread Central


“The contestants become more and more hysterical, their actions more ridiculous and unbelievable. And the silly cartoon alligator never shuts up. Everything from blocking a sexual conquest on a social networking site (not Facebook) to lying on an Internet personality quiz falls under his scorn. The characters act ashamed of things that aren’t all that shameful, and lie about things even when it becomes patently obvious that doing so would be futile.” Joel Harley, Horror Talk

“The movie is of course fiction, but the threat and horror of insider information feels very real to us as a society today. Because of that, the script provides a subtle brilliance that gets under your skin making you think twice about your own path of online activities. Panic Button offers a fresh perspective on horror themed films providing a golden experience worth watching. Chris Crow has shown us that social media can have a dark side, and its damn scary.”



Panic Button is an outstanding combination of the horror and thriller genres. It’s absolutely derivative of the 21st century’s Saw-style killers. However, it also builds its own identity by having likeable characters, a foundation in the modern, socially-connected world, and a combination of mental and physical tortures that actually focuses more on the psychological side.” HorrorFreak News

“The idea is fine enough (trap people on a plane, terrify and kill ’em) and the revelations make sense and are decent, but the execution and the overall production is flimsy… It’d be easier to forgive if there was something positive to focus on. It’s very cheap and the characters are annoying but deaths weren’t satisfying.” OSW Review




Cast and characters:

  • Scarlett Alice Johnson as Jo
  • Jack Gordon as Max
  • Michael Jibson as Dave
  • Elen Rhys as Gwen
  • Joshua Richards as Alligator/ Rupert Turner
  • Vern Raye as Callahan
  • Kezia Burrows as Newsreader
  • Sarah Parks as Annie Turner
  • Millie Midwinter as Lucy Turner
  • David Morgan as Man with Suitcases

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