Panic Room (Spoilers)

I know it just opened today, but anyone else see Panic Room? I thought it was pretty enjoyable. Couple of points:

  1. Fincher’s style stood out in a couple of spots to me. First of all, there’s a lot of rain and darkness in the movie. It reminded me a lot of Se7en in some spots. Of course, some people have mocked that movie because the main characters apparently don’t know what a light switch is. I think here it wasn’t as overdone. There didn’t seem to be anything as obvious as policemen processing an indoor murder scene with flashlights.

There were camera movements that reminded me a lot of Fight Club (the garbage can, the refridgerator explosion, the opening building shot from the top floor down). There was a lot of movement through walls, bannisters, even the handle of a coffee pot. The poster shot of Jodie Foster was also used in an intersting tilt.

  1. The final scene seemed tacked on. After the last robber is caught, the screen fades to black for a good period of time. After that, we see Jodie Foster and her daughter on a park bench looking for another house. It reminded me of the original ending of Se7en (see the DVD), where it fades to black for a while after the shooting. After test screenings, an additional brief prologue was added. I’m willing to bet that Fincher originally wanted to end the movie with this long fade to black.

  2. The title sequence is very cool. Huge 3D letters are superimposed onto NYC buildings, as if they were massive letters on the buildings in real life.

  3. Plot point: for the longest time I wondered why the robbers didn’t smash the video cameras guarding the house that can be seen on monitors in the panic room. Later in the movie, Jodie Foster goes around smashing them with hammers. One of the bad guys says, “Why didn’t we think of that?”

  4. Plot point: I didn’t understand that her daughter was supposed to be diabetic until she said she was hungry and dizzy. She has a fridge full of juice next to her bed and apparently has a watch that can measure blood sugar. I couldn’t figure out what the watch was for, just that it didn’t seem to be telling the time. Is there such a device?

  5. Would you have preferred Jodie Foster or Nicole Kidman (backed out because of an injury) as the mother? Discuss.

Very nice movie. And yes, I felt my money was well spent just when I saw the titles. It was great.

I also felt the post-ending was tacked on and unnecessary. Fading out at Jodie’s face would have been much better.

My wife is diabetic (though not on insulin) and I tend to keep track of anything I see that is diabetes-related, even if it’s not immediately relevant to her current needs.

Haven’t seen the movie yet, but have been intrigued by the ads.

I liked the movie overall.

When Jodie started smashing the cameras and one of the bad guys said “Why didn’t we do that?” it mirrored my thoughts exactly. The cool thing was I didn’t think of it until that point.

The whole diabetic daughter thing had me and my Mom nuts after the movie. We discussed why she would either a) need sugar or b) need an insulin shot. I don’t know a whole lot about diabetics, but we thought that it didn’t make sense.

The biggest thing that hit me as unreal about the movie was when Jodie nailed the guy in the head with a sledgehammer and he fell at least 10 feet, more like 20, then got up. Sorry, just won’t happen.

Otherwise I give it an A-. Great movie, though seeing Jodie nude would have made it better. Also, having Forrest get away would also have been cool.
As far as Jodie vs. Nicole goes, Jodie wins hands down.


What a shame that Fincher wasted his talents on such a stupid story. I could recite a laundry list of stupidities in the movie, but it is late, maybe later. But, I agree, the opening credits were cool.

I just got back from watching this movie and very much enjoyed it, as I have all of David Fincher’s movies thus far.

I agree with most of what has been said here … awesome opening credits … you can get up after getting nailed in the head with a sledgehammer and falling over a bannister? … loved the Fincher shots through the coffee pot and inside the keyhole … the final scene did seem a little tacked on … etc.

What I’d like to know is what the original ending was like. I know that it was re-worked, so I’d be interested to see what was supposed to happen originally. Hopefully Forest Whittaker didn’t come back the first time because I’m just not a huge fan of the “bad guy who gets completely redeemed” thing. I would have preferred Raoul getting killed by someone else.

Minor flaws, though, because I really did like this movie a whole lot. A.


I really liked it, too. As the OP said, many Fincher-esque camera shots. I found the most egregious example the “zoom through the flashlight bulb through the inside of the flashlight, out to the daughter’s wrist.” I mean, that’s just needless.

As said, there were many stupidities in the movie, the first being that Jodie didn’t grab her cell phone right away. Even granting that she’d forgotten it in her initial rush to the panic room, she should have dashed out and grabbed it early on, when she saw the three burglars milling about downstairs, holding signs up for the camera. The room was on the third floor, correct? Hell, even if they heard the door open right away, she woulda had plenty of time. She also should have taken the phone with her when she dashed out for insulin and called the cops on the run. For that matter, she could have had her daughter holler into the intercom to cover the noise of the door opening and her running out to look for stuff.

Second thing, which made me snicker: she wasted time hooking up the phone. I guess the character didn’t realize (and maybe Fincher didn’t either) that the black and yellow wires in a phone line are extras; they’re installed for future expansion (which will probably never happen), but they don’t do anything. You only need to hook up the green and red wires for the phone to work. So, when Jodie is frantically connecting “black to black”, she’s wasting time.

Third thing: I saw MREs in them crates. There’s not a single dessert in a single MRE with sugar in it? I would think sugar would be used rather than an artificial sweetener; armies need energy, and sugar’s great for that. Someone correct me if MREs don’t have sugar. Still, you’d think the old man would have candy bars or even some powdered Tang or something to break up the monotony of drinking water…

But, overall, I really liked it. Some good tense moments.

One question: were those his fingers or something that Raoul picked up on his way out of the panic room?

She doesn’t do that kind of stuff. Anymore. Besides, you get to hear her pee. (Or, more precisely, a Foley effect.) Which is the first time I’ve ever heard female micturition depicted sonically in a movie.

Yes, there were too many over-the-top camera effects – the flashlight bulb in particular. Maybe Fincher felt the razzle was necessary, given the claustrophobic setting.

The third act got a little soft – once Meg decides to take out the bad guys herself and rejects the police assistance. All the twists have played out and it turns into a game of “Gotcha Last.”

And was I the only one who thought it unbelievable that the NYPD would see Forrest Whitaker with his hand in his jacket and not fill him full of lead? This movie suggests they’ve learned restraint since the Amadou Diallo shooting.

threegrumpy, my cus mentioned the bathroom shot as well. i whispered back that kidman was “caught” in the bathroom as well in “eyes wide shut.”

i thought it was rather good. i enjoyed the quirky shots.

i was wondering why they were still looking for an abode at the end. it seems that mr altman had passed, so why wouldn’t they just move back to thier old abode?

I just came home from the movie, and I liked it more than I thought I would.

About her not grabbing her cell phone earlier and acting sooner: I don’t think anyone who’s just woken up and is stressed out over a move, new home, and a fresh divorce would have the foresight to grab her cell phone or daughter’s insulin. Remember, it wasn’t her idea to go into the room; it was her daughter’s. She’d had no idea that they were going to be in there, much less for as long as they were. I think she’d been thinking about escaping, sure, but probably to somewhere outside the house. I doubt she had taking refuge in the panic room in mind. In fact, given her claustrophobia, the panic room was not quite the last place in the house she’d want to be in.

The last place, of course, is the elevator. :slight_smile:

And about the phone wires: she probably didn’t know about the black and yellow wires. Heck, I didn’t know about the wires. Given the situation, I would have assumed that every wire was important and tied them all together.
What bugged me was the ending. Burnham escapes, and is about to scale the wall. The SWAT team spots him, stops him, threatens to shoot him. He raises his hands. His jacket lifts slightly, exposing the 22 million-dollar bonds tucked in his clothes.

The next time we see him, he has the bonds in his left hand. And the SWAT team tells him to show his hands. He opens his hands, and the bonds fly out and swirl around (apparently, it’s tornado season in New York).

That’s a nice effect and all, but frankly, if Burnham had reached into his jacket to pull out the bonds, the SWAT team would have shot him immediately. Because for all they know, he’s got a gun in there.

Upon review, I see ThreeGrumpy has already mentioned this.

So why DID the SWAT team show up at the end? Cop1 told her to blink a few times if she needed help and she deliberatly kept her eyes wide open so she wouldn’t risk her daughter’s life. One of my friends that saw the movie with me said that Jodie made a big production with her hair at the end of the scene and that was taken as a signal, but I don’t buy that. It was obvious the sign the cop was looking for and he didn’t get it. Why then would he come crashing in with the National Guard in tow? And I’m not going with “noise complaints from neighbors.” I’ve had a loud party before and never had the SWAT team show up (but damn that’d be a sign of a successful party, wouldn’t it?)

Her husband said he’d called them, but they were probably the two cops that showed up at the door.

Could Meg herself have called them with her cell phone, as she was making her preparations for the robbers’ departure? I admit my memory is hazy on those last few minutes, but that’s all I can think of.

I saw the movie last night and enjoyed it for the most part.

I thought the panic room was more vunerable to attack than I would have thought for a room designed to keep its occupants safe. The air supply was should have been protected by steel, and not just walls. It should have vented to a hard to find and inaccessible area. There should have also been some sort of bottled air available.

Also what was a straight pipe to the outside about? Isn’t that like have a vault which has a screen door in the back?

I didn’t think that the husband had died at the end of the movie. Was he not looking at his daugther at the end of the movie?

Do people really have panic rooms? I have never heard of one before other than bomb shelters. The closest I have heard of one was Larry Flynt’s bedroom that had a vault type door.

That the daughter was diabetic is established when Mom puts her to bed and gets the water out of the fridge. The camera looks inside the fridge, showing us vials and syringes along with the water. It’s reinforced in the first few moments in the panic room when Mom asks her “Are you feeling dizzy? Hungry?”

Another misconception. Mom doesn’t leave to get insulin to inject. Injecting someone whose blood sugar has bottomed out with insulin would likely kill him or her, hence the daughter telling Forrest not to use the insulin. The injection would have been glucagon, a medication that rapidly raises blood sugar. Note that Foster makes a point of checking inside the big pouch for the smaller yellow pouch and it’s medication. Those parts of the diabetes were done right.

However, there was one glaring error. The daughter could have eaten the mre’s to raise her blood sugar as it started to fall. Any food will raise blood sugar, it’s just that sugar rich foods do it rapidly.

The biggest error I saw was the phone call to 911. When the voicemail picked up her call, the system would have automatically recorded the time of the call and the address from which the call was made. A patrol car would have been sent anyway.

Apparently they’re a lot more common than I had thought. The Los Angeles Timesprinted a storyabout them last week:


*Originally posted by Max Carnage *
So why DID the SWAT team show up at the end?

That’s what I want to know!!! It’s just one of the little logic questions for you to ponder after you’ve spent good money to see this dark little mess.

I thought the titles were absolutely the best part of the film!

*Originally posted by annieclaus *

I assume that, since the cops said that there were reports of noise earlier, that when the husband was getting beat up and/or Jodie was breaking mirrors there were further complaints. Given what had come before, the already suspicious cop may have figured something was up.

What tipped off the SWAT team? My guess: the cops wondered why the ex-husband’s car was parked out front. Granted, she never said that he didn’t come over. But it seems the only way to rationalize away the deus ex machina is to imagine that the responding cops saw some slight clue.

A friend of mine insists that Jodie must have blinked when the scene cut away from the foyer to the burglars for a moment. Yeah, right.

Here is what I would have liked instead of the ending. The guy scales over the fence, is over the top, some of the notes fly out and hit the ground, but he keeps on going. He escapes; when Foster is asked whetehr there were any other people, she says no.

Result? She and the kid have money, the robber who showed compassion got away with some money, and there wasn’t some tacked on ending.

Remember, though, the money didn’t belong to nobody-- the millionare who hid the bonds there had relatives who were supposed to inherit it.

Also, Meg and her daughter didn’t need money; her husband was rich, and he was paying for the house and (presumably) alimony.

Though Burnham was a nice guy and had no selfish motivations and therefore “deserved” the money, that isn’t enough of a reason for him to get away. (I was hoping he would, FWIW.) It boils down to that he still tried to rob and harm them. Though I generally detest movies that preach morality, you can’t show B&E, robbery, and other assorted offenses being rewarded.

The film should have ended with a gradual fade out of Meg and her daughter sitting together watching the police enter the house.