Genre : Thriller; Drama
Director : Multiple Directors
Platform : Amazon Prime
Panic TV show is based on a 2014 book written by Lauren Oliver. It is about a game called Panic played every year by the graduating students. The game is dangerous and has even led to a couple of deaths last year. Despite the underlying risk, this year, the teenagers are competing against each other to win a $50,000 prize money.
To be honest, the game felt unconvincing and ridiculous.
The game takes place inside the town itself. So, I wasn’t convinced that these teenagers were able to carry out the game without anybody noticing. The story did have an element where the Police were investigating about this secretive game. Still, the whole idea around the game seemed far-fetched.
Also, there is a lack of competitive spirit. Except a couple of times, I didn’t witness any behaviour, action or expression that displayed the competitive attitude. The contestants are playing the game for the sake of it, not necessarily competing. Moreover, we even don’t get to see how some of the side characters get eliminated from the game. Thus, the absence of attention to detail in creating the world of Panic seems quite evident.
This 10 episode show has only a few major plot-twists. If there were more twists(though there were), I can’t even categorize them in plot-twists. Because they are not well executed and don’t give us a sense of surprise. Also, the cliff-hangers of individual episodes are ordinary and average, which makes the show less captivating.
The screenplay makes the characters look dumb. Some of the scenarios are so unconvincing that even if the actors make tensed faces or cry, that doesn’t work.
One word which I would use to descibe the characters is – confused. One of the protagonists was Natalie, a pretentious person who would make up fake promises with people. Natalie’s intentions were hard to decode. The creators did want to make Natalie a suspicious and shady character. But, all in all she looked like an absurd person. The creators could have taken some inspiration from doubtful-yet-witty characters( Lu and Carla) from Elite, which they surely didn’t.
Heather is another protagonist of the show. She is ambitious and a hard working girl. Her mother is always low on cash and is stuck in this substandard life. In one scene, her mother even borrows cash from Heather. Heather hates her mother for not being a ‘good mother’, but also loves her. This is the only relationship, I felt had layers and depth to it.
I also didn’t understand why most of the main characters had single parents. While it may look like an insignificant detail, it did make things bland. Parents who were more concerned with their kid’s lives would have provided a good contrast in this Panic stricken world.
The screenplay also incorporates flashback scenes from the past year games. These sequences are the best part of the plot because they genuinely give us panic. The instant they end, we start to lose our interest. The sub plot where the Police investigation is taking place, is also unexciting.
Should I watch it?
If you are expecting for an edge-of-seat experience or a twisted storyline, you may get disappointed. Most of the tasks in the game are unchallenging and overall the game looks unrealistic. We also get to see a CGI tiger, which looks fake and makes the plot less captivating.
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An Indian reviewer who writes about horror and thriller movies/series. If not movies, he likes to pick up a mystery book to read. Some of his favourite movies/series include Stranger Things, Elite (S1-3), Train to Busan, Andhadhun, Strangers: Prey at Night.