How A Dark Way Out pays homage to 2002 classic Panic Room (Exclusive)

A Dark Way Out cast (Picture provided by PR team)
A Dark Way Out cast (Picture provided by PR team)

Panic Room may be overshadowed by Fight Club in the museum of David Fincher masterpieces, but Reggie Currelley's A Dark Way Out is a definite nod to the all-time classic thriller.

So much so, that even during the course of the film, there are meta references to Panic Room. Reggie Currelley is not merely the star of the film, but is also the director and writer of the edge-of-your-seat thriller. And he is not shy about how much the 2002 classic influenced his latest offering.

Speaking with Sportskeeda, the veteran actor discussed why Panic Room was the blueprint for his new work and much more.

Much like Panic Room, there is a robbery in progress in A Dark Way Out

James is a small-time thief who breaks into a house only to see that the family within has been taken hostage by a bunch of thugs. His hero instinct kicks in when he sees that one of the men is about to do something unspeakable to a girl his daughter's age.

Reggie Currelley discussed how, despite being flawed, there is a likable quality to his character - James:

"I like to make characters, when I come up with a project, I want to make characters that have some kind of humanity. Humility. For people to see that in James, you have to see his daughter. And I think that brings his humility into play and makes the audience feel for him a little bit. Because at the beginning you don’t feel for him when he’s breaking into the house at the first start of the movie, he’s just another guy."

Comparisons with Panic Room are immediately obvious. Currelley does not deny that the Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart film was a big motivation when writing the script:

"When I first came up with the concept, Panic Room was the very first thing that I thought of. I love the movie so much. I’m a big fan of the movie and also Forest Whittaker and Jared Leto and Jodie Foster and everybody."

Much like Panic Room, the film happens in real-time, as James joins forces with the daughter of the house to rid it of its intruders. The sense of tension that pervades the Jodie Foster classic is recreated masterfully, in a modern but equally gripping tale:

"But the tension that they had in that film was just so…every moment you were on the edge of your seat and that was my intent. So, when we did our sales presentation for investors, on our deck is The Panic Room. It’s one of the first films we refer to as…that it’s comparable to. So, you’re the third person who said it reminded me of the Panic Room. I’m like…I did it…we did it. So yeah, I definitely wanted that feel, so."

So how did Currelley manage the mighty task of getting the audience to root for a criminal, something that's established at the very start? The actor explained:

"So when you get the humility of him and his daughter, you have a little more compassion for him. But then, when he rescues the girl, that relationship bonds. And now you feel even more sympathetic for him because he’s risking it all, everything, for somebody he doesn’t know. So I guess that’s what got the audience on his side more."

A Dark Way Out stars Reggie Currelley, Rhoda Griffis, Danny Trejo, and Raina Grey among others.

In addition to streaming the film on Dark Matter TV, A Dark Way Out is available for a $3.99 download rental, and a $9.99 download to own on iTunes, Apple TV, Google, Vudu (TVOD), and Xbox/Microsoft.

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