Don’t Panic (1988)

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On the night of Michael’s birthday his friends surprise him with a Ouija board. Breaking his promise to never touch a Ouija board, he agrees to conduct a séance. What seems like a failure to conjure up a spirit, turns into the biggest mistake the friends ever made. Soon, Michael starts being plagued by bloody visions and people who were present during the séance begin dying one by one…

Genre:
Horror

Country:
Mexico

Language:
English

Full Plot:
“Don’t Panic”, a Mexican horror movie from the year 1988, begins on the night of Michael’s 17th birthday party. When it’s over and his guests are gone, he gets surprised by his close group of friends: Tony, Peter, Debbie, Christy and Robert. He is annoyed by the nightly visit as his mom is sleeping in the next room, but immediately lightens up when he sees that his crush Alexandra has shown up with his friends.

The friends pull out a Ouija board as his birthday present, much to the displeasure of Michael, who reveals that he has once promised to never touch a Ouija board. After Tony, his best friend, keeps insisting on playing with the board, he finally gives in and the group starts a séance.

Tony tries to establish contact to an entity called „Virgil“, who he seems to have communicated with before. When the planchette stays still, the group gets annoyed and questions whether it works at all. Robert decides to tease Michael by suggesting to ask the spirit who in the group has a crush on Alexandra.

Michael feels bullied and takes his hands off the planchette, while Tony points it towards him, upsetting Michael even more.

The séance gets interrupted by Michael’s mother who bursts into the room and makes everyone leave her home.

While the room is empty, the viewer sees the planchette jumping up and down and finally fly off the board and against the wall.

The following morning, both Michael and Alexandra are late for school and are therefore not let into the class. They instead spend a romantic day together and bond.

After the date, Michael visits a hungover Tony and tells him about the day with Alex. Tony picks out a rose from a vase and advises Michael to give it to her, along with saying „as long as love exists between you and I, the rose will never wither“.

This night, Michael has a nightmare of a bloody hand coming through the ceiling, dripping blood on him. His nightmare turns into a headache accompanied by a vision of his friend Peter being stabbed. During the vision, the viewer gets a glimpse of Michael’s eyes, which turn demonically red.

The next day, when Michael wants to give the rose to Alex, but he sees her with John, the brother of his friend Christy and immediately gets jealous. Alex insists that John is only a friend to her and tells Michael that she loves him, upon which they kiss.

The two go to Michael’s place, where they become intimate and he gives the rose to her, while saying „as long as love exists between you and I, the rose will never wither“, just like Tony advised him to.

In the night, another bloody vision overcomes Michael. This time he sees Debbie, another friend of his who was present during the Ouija board séance, getting stabbed to death. During the vision, he stumbles around the house and ends up in the bathroom, where he attempts to splash water into his face, before realizing that blood is pouring from the tap.

His mother gets disturbed by the noise and knocks on the bathroom door, distracting Michael for a moment. When he looks back at the sink, the blood has vanished, but his eyes remain red.

Click here to unfold the remaining story (SPOILER WARNING)

Next morning, Michael puts on sunglasses to hide his demonic eyes. He eats breakfast with his mother with the TV on, when the screen suddenly turns into static noise. A face forms, that starts talking to Michael, begging him for help and revealing that Christy, another friend who was present during the Ouija board session as well, will die tonight unless he gets her out of the city before midnight.

Later that day in school, his teacher suddenly stops the lesson to tell him the same thing, followed by him seeing Christy, who sits close to him, covered in blood and sitting in a pool of blood. Shocked, he gets up from his seat, but suddenly everything goes back to normal. His classmates and teacher are weirded out by his behaviour and it becomes clear once again, that the shocking things he is seeing and hearing are only experienced by him alone.

At the caféteria, he tries hard to avoid Alex to not let her see his eyes, but only achieves her getting upset, as she starts believing that he was only using her to get into her pants. She vows to never bother him again and storms off.

John comes around the corner and trips Michael up, making him fall on the ground. As John crushes the sunglasses, Michael flees.

The same evening, Michael hears about his friends Peter and Debbie being stabbed on the news. He realizes that his visions were based on reality and remembers the warning he got about Christy being next. He drives to her place, but gets blocked by her brother John, who slams the door in front of him.

At this moment, Michael has another vision. He sees that Christy is currently working at a hospital. He immediately rushes to the hospital, but gets captured by security and Christy gets stabbed after all.

While the security examines the crime scene, Michael flees the building after a blood stained Tony with a demonic voice shows up and starts following him.

He manages to escape, but once home, he is welcomed by his worried mother who calls a doctor. The doctor sedates Michael, making him fall asleep deeply.

In the night, John shows up and kidnaps a sleepy Michael, assuming that he had something to do with the murder of his sister Christy.

The next morning, Michael wakes up in John’s car, with John pointing a gun at him. Michael insists that he is innocent and that Tony is behind the murders, so the two head off to Tony’s apartment for investigation. At the apartment, there is no trace of Tony, but they find several knives and a crucifix stabbed into a wall.

Menawhile, a detective called Velazco gets on the case.

While Michael and John wait for Tony to show up, the TV switches to white noise and a face manifests on the screen once again, reminding Michael of the Ouija board session and telling him that Robert is the next one to die. The face urges Michael to stop the murder and reveals that the killer is the spirit Virgil, who they conjured up during the séance. He has possessed Tony’s body and is out to kill everyone that was present during the session. The face finally identifies himself as Tony’s spirit and recites „as long as love exists between you two, the rose will never wither“ as proof.

Michael and John go to Roberts place, where they find him drunk. They drag him outside to the car in his underwear. Robert keeps insisting to get his pants, so Michael goes back to the apartment, after which John goes to get cigarettes, leaving Robert alone in the car.

While in the apartment, Michael has a vision of Robert getting stabbed. When John comes back, he finds Robert dead in the car and gets attacked himself. A Virgil-possessed Tony stabs him with a dagger, which he then drops.

When Michael finally arrives, the police shows up and tries to arrest him. While they examine the corpsefilled car, he manages to escape and run to Alex’ place, bursting into a family dinner.

There, another vision overcomes him before he pulls out a gun and starts shooting randomly around him. He grabs Alex and drives off with her.

He explains to her that they are the only ones left who participated in the Ouija board session. They go back to the place where Robert and John were murdered and find the dagger there. Michael tells Alex to go back home and decides to face Virgil alone from there.

Michael manages to trap him, but can’t bring himself to stab him when he starts talking in Tony’s normal voice, fooling him into believing that Virgil has left. When Michael drops the dagger, Virgil lifts him off the ground, giving him an excruciating headache.

Finally, Alex and detective Velazco show up. Alex grabs the dagger and stabs possessed Tony, making Virgil leave his body.

Michael drops to the ground and dies on impact. While Alex cries, the viewer sees Tony’s spirit finally returning to his body. He says sorry and dies.

The movie ends with a scene at Michael’s funeral, showing Alex holding the rose Michael gave her once. It is withered and she drops it onto his coffin. The rose transforms into a fresh and vibrantly red rose as soon as it hits the coffin, making Alex smile with tears rolling down her face.

Cast:
Jon Michael Bischof as Michael
Juan Ignacio Aranda as Tony
Mario Iván Martínez as Peter
Cecilia Tijerina as Debbie
Mindie McCullum as Christy
Raúl Araiza as Robert
Gabriela Hassel as Alexandra
Helena Rojo as Michael’s mom
Roberto Palazuelos as John
Jorge Luke as Lt. Velazco

Director/Writer:
Rubén Galindo Jr.

Links:
Don’t Panic (1988) on IMDB

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