A young model's boyfriend storms out one night. She follows him and, along the way, picks up an old woman standing at the roadside in the rain. But her act of kindness has terrible ... See full summary »

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Complete credited cast:
Julie Neesam ...
Mandy Foster
Peter Blake ...
Paul
Avis Bunnage ...
Old Lady
Leonard Fenton ...
Policeman
John Blundell ...
Punk
Ray Burdis ...
Punk
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A young model's boyfriend storms out one night. She follows him and, along the way, picks up an old woman standing at the roadside in the rain. But her act of kindness has terrible repercussions when the old woman turns out to be a serial killer looking for her next victim. Written by gorefanatic

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Short | Horror

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January 1978 (UK)  »

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Connections

Remade as Left Turn (2001) See more »

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Great and effective horror film short
13 October 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

PANIC (1978) is a 17-minute short horror film made in Britain. All but forgotten these days - until some kind soul uploaded it to Youtube in the form of a fuzzy, taken-from-VHS transfer - this turns out to be a chilling and highly effective piece of scaremongering.

The short-short running time excludes the necessity for boring set-up and characterisation, and instead we're thrown straight into one of those predictable but effective 'dark and stormy night' type narratives. This is in essence a phantom hitchhiker story, with the female lead driving down a lonely country road at night in a downpour and coming across an old lady who may be more than she seems.

PANIC boasts some excellent, subdued lighting and a neat twist ending which is guaranteed to provoke plenty of summers. The acting is understated and the cast includes later EASTENDERS star Leonard Fenton (who played Dr Legg) as a policeman. Julie Neesam is fine as the woman-in-peril and James Dearden proves adept as both writer and director. This is fine stuff indeed that has much in common with the classic BBC Ghost Stories for Christmas series of the 1970s.


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