SEPTEMBER 20, 2007
There is but one original idea in Panic (aka Bakterion), and it technically comes before the opening credits. For once in the cinematic history of the “Scientist becomes rampaging monster” movie, the accident actually happens BEFORE the movie begins proper. We see a monster attack, and then some science folks are talking about a missing scientist in the next scene.
Well actually there are two original ideas. As far as I know, no other film has had a superimposed alarm clock on the bottom right of the screen for no goddamn reason:
Anyway the rest of the movie is pretty boring. However, there’s a delightfully meta moment when a guy says “Dreadful actors, don’t you agree?”, in regards to some scientists who are pretending that they didn’t possibly unleash a virus that could kill everyone in the world. It’s nice. Also, there’s a scene where some will-be victims are in a movie theater, and the movie they are watching is possibly the only film ever made less interesting than the one they're in.
The main problem with the movie is that the monster only kills folks we don’t know. Therefore the movie only has two types of scenes: Scientists and police worrying about how to stop him or how it happened, or some people we don’t know doing something somewhere and then being killed. No suspense, no tension, just a Moebius strip of monster movie clichés.
There’s also a peculiar fascination with Psycho – the music is very Herrmann-y, and there’s even a shower scene. Why anyone would want to reference Psycho in a movie about a scientist running around the sewers as he turns into a monster is beyond me.
The climax of the film, save for the random clock, is one of the laziest I’ve ever seen. The monster is killed by a tiny fire extinguisher, someone makes a phone call that we can’t hear, and then two guys who are in a fighter jet, about to nuke the city, get ANOTHER phone call that we don’t hear. One guy then says “Hey, we don’t have to fire!” and they fly away. The end. Oh, and then we are given this non-chilling warning:
What say you?