Adam Cook’s review:
Panic Button is a single location British thriller that attempts to be relevant with its critique of social media and the digital traces we leave behind but fails due to a complete lack of tension and tired Saw on a Plane formula. Four strangers win an all expenses paid trip to New York paid for by the social network they all use. However, it doesn’t take long for them to discover they are in a sick game of life or death.
Post-Saw there have been many of these types of deranged game thrillers popping up and the vast majority are poorly conceived and executed. Whilst it is commendable that Panic Button at least has a target for its scorn it lacks focus or characters you care for. The film takes too long setting up the protagonists and the twisted games without building suspense or a sense of intrigue (at no point did I care who was behind these games or why these four individuals were chosen). As the film progresses it descends into even more familiar territory with the group turning on each other whilst the body count slowly rises. The climactic revelation is incredibly weak and lacks the potency it clearly thinks it had. A wasted opportunity and a waste of time.