Ghost House Pictures has a Panic Attack

Published 5 years ago by , Updated April 7th, 2013 at 9:34 am,


There is another robot film coming out, but before you groan, it doesn’t have Michael Bay (Transformers), McG (Terminator) or Shawn Levy (Real Steel) attached. This one is called Panic Attack has a director you’ve most likely have never heard of attached, Fede Alvarez. That name might not make your ears perk up (yet) but this one will: Sam Raimi.

Raimi’s production company Ghost House Pictures (Drag Me to Hell, 30 Days of Night: Dark Days) has won a bidding war between a bunch of major studios to sign a seven-figure deal with Alvarez to have him direct a feature-length film based on a 4 minute short he released earlier this year.

Fede Alvarez is a commercial director from Uruguay (small country in South America just below Brazil), and until now no one outside of that country had heard of him. That is, until Kanye West posted a link on his blog (his internet equivalent of grabbing the microphone) to Alvarez’s short film. Since then, Alvarez has been wined and dined by all of the major players in Hollywood. I’m sure each of the Hollywood big boys was saying, “We’re out of ideas. Can we buy yours?”

The short film Alvarez did is called Ataque de Panico or Panic Attack and the report is he made it for under $500. I’m sure a lot of the work on the film was done pro bono by artists just trying to get their work recognized. Well, they succeeded and their fantastic alien robot invasion of Uruguay will shortly become a major motion picture release. Watch the film after the jump:

panic attack header Ghost House Pictures has a Panic Attack

Sam Raimi will produce the film alongside Ghost House partner Rob Tapert. Joining them will be Roy Lee and Doug Davison from Vertigo while Nathan Kahane will serve as executive producer. Now Ghost House is looking for a “high-end scribe” to make the short film big screen material based on an alien invasion idea that Alvarez pitched to Raimi.

In the ever-changing Hollywood world, studios are starting to go more to unknown directors and actors to help carry movies that require very little investment for a great deal of return. Look at this summer’s District 9; under the tutelage of Peter Jackson, relatively-unknown director Neil Blomkamp delivered a great film on a $30 million budget and to date has grossed $180 million worldwide. And who can forget this fall’s ultra-phenomenon Paranormal Activity that director Oren Peli made for only $15 k, which has brought in over $100 million.

I really liked the Panic Attack short film and the idea that slow moving giant robots could invade and blow up the world is a great throwback to the 50s when robots were imagined that way. Notice how there were no chrome covered robots with red eyes using machine guns or any twin robots “jive” talking, humping girl’s legs, crying or swinging their wrecking balls in the camera’s face? Could it be that we might actually get a decent robot invasion movie that’s a lot of fun to watch?

Here’s hoping they don’t sign Will Smith, John Cusack, Hugh Jackman or Russell Crowe in the starring role.

What did you think about the short film Panic Attack and do you think it could be properly turned into a major movie?

Source: Variety

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Yeah, maybe that way they can lower the cost price of Blue-Ray eventually.

  2. It’s a decent short so the guy deserves a shot. Who doesn’t like scifi and mechs?

  3. Cool short film, great special effects for the budget. But its’ pretty much big robot and spaceships destroying a city. Couldn’t hollywood thought of that themselves instead of buying the simplest of concepts for millions of dollars. Don’t get me wrong i loved the short but i can’t imagine much of a feature length movie with any of the same scenes or designs. Will see it at the movies for sure if it comes out, just not sure why hollywood was clambering to get its’ hand on it. Probably for the director but still.

  4. Looks like fun. I too like the fact that these robots are basic and emotionless (and I’m guessing will not be humping anything). I don’t see a need for a big name tacked on to this movie, District 9 did well with that random guy no one had heard of. And please no Tom Cruise.

  5. We HAD a great ‘Robot Invasion’ film… Sky Captain! Man, was that overlooked. ~ Stark

  6. @Stark – I own Sky Captain. Very much enjoyed that film. This seems different though.

    I would say the reason Hollywood is trying hard to get this guy is not so much for the story as they are for the way it was told. So much info in a short amount of time and yet there were no spoken words.

  7. @Stark…

    I couldn’t quite understand why Sky Captain was so underrated. I thought it was quite good, but I had the minority opinion. Several of my friends couldn’t stand it.

    Also, Panic Attack would be an interesting Hollywood movie, but it would probably be a lot more interesting if they didn’t cast a bunch of A-Listers. If they cast relative unknowns or semi-unknowns, this could be a good film.

  8. It looks to cheesy heck the sci-fi channels movies have better special FX say what you want about Bay and McG atleast their FX look real this looks like it was made in the 80’s

  9. @JD5DAD – Cheesy? What are you talking about bud? Most of the effects were probably done for free as compared to Bay and McG who worked with multi-million dollar budgets. The point you are missing is the direction of the short. No overuse of the shaky cam for dramatic effect. No ultra-close up shots to make the audience sick.

  10. Epic Fail. Where were the lens flares?? Kidding! That was a cool short.

  11. The short was pretty cool but Hollywood will ruin the story behind all of this destruction. They’ll probably sign Ronald Emmerich to direct, that waste. Unless they let Alvarez do it all. That’d be sweet.

  12. Oh, and no more Michael Bay, please. Please please no more Michael Bay.

  13. nice. Co-Stars will be the Iron Giant and Godzilla teaming up with King Kong to fight the alien invaders. Tom Cruise will be leading the counter-attack with a magical Samurai sword that he wields with Suri in tow in a hiking pack. Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd will be firing their Ghost buster weapons and cracking jokes to distract the attacking Monsters. Sounds like a blockbuster, right?

  14. There are people like Max Cerchi and the Polonia Bros. making movies like this for years ! Where is Hollywwod for these guys??

  15. I was surprised when I watched in the internet. Loved loved, I showed it to my kids and there eyes were glued to my computer screen. The introduction with the kid at the begining was owesome. The NO words or dialoge in the short was powerful. Anyhow, if invaders are going to attack us, why do they need to anounce it. Brilliant performance. Keep it up Mr. Alvarez and I hope to see more of your work. We need more latinos like you who show talent and brains and no more stereotype of the mafia, or murder roll in movies that have permeate our image in the american movie industry.

  16. i thought this was a great short story. much like what i saw in the 50’s wish i could have seen more of it though. before hollywood gets it. hope they stay to the story line. good luck.

  17. Excellant! Minimal is King now! The sugar sweetned “sacharrin” big name movie productions from Hollywood is not what we want. Instead, the audience wants “minimalism” as the new message vehicle!! Hollywood needs to pay attention.

  18. i have a lot of great ideas. anyone interested?


  20. Earth Defense Force 2017. Mission 20. Artillery.

    That is where this comes from. Right down to the very robots, their guns, and the color of the sky. Even the sound the robots make is exactly the same.

    Search the above title in Youtube and see if you agree.

  21. This was very interesting and very informative to be so short with no words at all. I would pay to see an extended version of it.

  22. Another “Robots attack the city flick” followed by a crappy plotline, FOR SURE. The idea of this guy ripping off mainstream movies and having others (more than likely do the effects for free)is a load of BS. ($500 budget, my a$$) I agree, that “Sky Captain” had this EXACT same robot routine and was overlooked by millions. Why should this guy even have the chance to make a movie. Of course, most simple minded people will definatetly take notice of this eventual piece of garbage.

  23. Well call me goofy, but don’t we already have a bunch of this crap already floating around CONSTANTLY in Hollywood?? Transformers, Terminator…1,2,3,…War of the worlds…its all a newer version of something older, just skipped a generation or people too dumb to remember. YAAAAAWN…send an email when somebody comes up with something worthy to be called an ORIGINAL MOVIE, Please!!!!

  24. it attracted Hollywood because of the cost. if you can make a movie like that at a fraction of a cost then those hollywood honchos will definitely jump on you like vultures on fresh carcass.

  25. Good special effects for such a low budget, however I have a hard time beleiving that with so many extras running around the streets it only cost $300-$500.

    Also, there is nothing new or novel about alien invaders and big slow robots coming to earth to destroy the world.

    Been there done that, no wonder Hollywood is such a mess. Sounds like a bunch of Hollywood egos got into a bidding match.

  26. I don’t believe this story on the face of it. No one from the Hollywood side is quoted confirming any of it. All it is is assertions from the guy who claims he’s getting… $30 million?

    I’d like to see a press release from Sam Raimi admitting he paid $30 Million for *the idea* of a giant robot film. Really? He’s not really that dumb, or lacking in ideas.