Silent Panic (2018)

Friends coming back for a hiking and camping trip find a body in the trunk of their car. Due to one of them having a past that could complicate things, they start debating what to do with the body until their friendship gets truly tested.

Written and directed by Kyle Schadt, Silent Panic is a slow burn film about the downward spiral people can take when they only think of themselves and their self-preservation. Each character here shows a different side of what people do and how they react to an extreme situation and how friendships can change over time, especially with extreme conditions being added. Here the writing is solid and the directing works well for it. The film is works with its themes very well and develops a story that is more than worrying about who will crack and who will do what. The film is a good character study of deeply regular people with their flaws, some deeper than others.

The three leads are played by Sean Nateghi as Eagle, Joseph Martinez as Bobby, and Jay Habre as Dominic. Each one of them gives a performance that is fairly natural and interesting to watch. The cast here is fairly solid with a few hiccups here and there in performances which may have been attempts at going a bit quirkier or perhaps just odd decisions making it in the final cut. Overall, the performances work for the story and keep the attention on what is going and what is being said.

The cinematography by Jordan Rennert gives the film that little extra something that takes it from super low budget indie look and elevates it a bit higher. The look given to the film here helps it a ton in the catching and keeping the attention department. Without these well-frames, well-shot images, some of the emotions of the film would not have translated as well. The images work for the story and for the viewer as they show just what needs to be shown and carefully frame each character to give them exactly the sort of exposure they need.

Silent Panic is a decently capable film that gives a lot in terms of performances which work even though they are not perfect. Here the film knows its strength and how to support them and does this really well. It’s an entertaining film that has a bit of suspense, some light thrills, and a bit of blood. It’s not a full on horror film or a full on thriller, but there are definitive elements of each in there that should be enough to feed the fans of each genres. Overall, Silent Panic is more of a drama with some iffy elements that creates its own world and pull the viewers into it.