In SILENT PANIC, three friends discover a dead body while on a camping trip, but cannot agree on whether or not to tell the police.
SILENT PANIC is a terrifying premise that works hard at getting under your skin with layers of tension and I applaud writer and director Kyle Schadt for that. SILENT PANIC is about three friends: Eagle, Bobby and Dominic, who discover a body dumped in the back of Eagle’s car when they return to the vehicle after a camping trip. There’s really no hesitation with how fast the drama really sets in and it definitely builds further along considering these three friends seem to already be emotionally damaged.
Eagle, having a criminal past, makes the bold decision to not report the body while his friends Dominic, and especially Bobby, highly advise against this. They even encounter a golden opportunity to report this mysterious body and Eagle bullies his friends out of saying anything. Bobby and Dominic continue to spiral emotionally because of the guilt that’s stacking every hour. Honestly, Sean Nateghi plays such a great example of a total sociopath and his character really made this movie for me. The further he carried his lies and his own guilt, the worse and worse the tension got and I felt myself cringing through a good portion of this movie.
Bobby is a bit of a deadbeat but he’s a family man and a total sweetheart. Throughout the film, his guilty conscience about the body and all the other things going on in his life makes frequent appearances which weren’t as impactful for me as the disgust caked on by Nateghi’s character, at least In the first half of the movie. Dominic is a similar character but he seems to be more driven by his work and the time he spends with his wife. He’s also the perfect middle between Eagle and Bobby as he’s definitely the more level headed one out of the three. I say this because he’s able to talk the other two down from the irrational thoughts while still knowing what is right.
Outside of the tension and the characters, one of the other things that I really liked about this movie was the cinematography. The camera captures great shots of each character’s face perfectly in the right moments of stress as well as glimpses of happiness as they still continue on with their daily lives. There’s also a fantastic drone shot over the city that’s captured after Dominic rides his motorcycle away from his house. I’ve always loved shots like this where we get a wide glimpse of the scenery regardless of if it’s nature or the concrete jungle. I’ve always found it fascinating.
Though there totally is a thriller element In this film, I honestly felt it was more of a drama. In fact, this movie was actually a pretty depressing watch for me. I suppose that does mean it was impactful and effective but I was expecting to feel a bit more on edge then I was. Most of the tension I felt was primarily at the beginning of the movie and the rest was kind of this sad spiral of despair that you see our main characters fall through. Because of this, I give a major kudos to two out of the three main players in regards to their really solid performances in playing guilty and emotionally broken humans.
My expectations going into this movie were that it was going to play out like some goofy slasher. But those expectations were actually grabbed by the throat and shaken around. I typically avoid movies like this because I’m not usually drawn to dramas or thrillers, but I’ll tell you, SILENT PANIC is one hell of a ride. It’s definitely titled this for a reason and you see it play out through the entire movie. SILENT PANIC will have a weeklong run at the Arena Cinelounge starting July 5 before the film premieres on Amazon Instant Video. SILENT PANIC will continue to rollout an additional Cable and Digital VOD in the coming weeks.