Starring: Jodie Foster, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto, Dwight Yoakam Director: David Fincher The film: In an age when thrillers tend to rely on cheap tricks to scare the audience, director David Fincher taps into the Hitchcock legacy to brilliant effect. His past two successes, Fight Club (1999) and Seven (1995), were dark journeys designed to make his audience squirm in their seats - mainly because the characters seemed so down and out. And there's a lot of darkness here too, but it is the depth of the central character, Meg Altman (Jodie Foster), that really lifts the film above what the director has done before. He builds the tension consistently so the audience, like Meg, hardly gets a chance to stop and pause for breath. The story sees the recently separated Meg heading out into the big, bad world with only her daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart) for company. Looking for safety, she happens across a house with its own 'panic room' - a place that can be sealed off from the rest of the world if danger should arise. Lo and behold it arises in the form of three thieves (Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto and Dwight Yoakam). They think the panic room is home to more than the frightened Altmans and try to get inside. Fincher has the thieves terrorise poor Meg, and us along with her. The camera work - from Conrad W Hall and Darius Khondji - turns the at-first safe haven into a house of horrors with danger lurking in every shadow. Foster (pictured with Stewart) shows once again what a rare talent she is. Her turn here reflects her Oscar-winning performance as Clarice Starling in The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) - she starts out frightened and vulnerable but soon finds the courage to overcome adversity. And, best of all, Fincher never goes overboard, letting the terror of the home's sanctity being violated increase the fear factor at every opportunity. The extras: A disappointment, with just filmographies and a trailer, so maybe there is another version on the way to Hong Kong soon. The verdict: Fincher's output continues to impress, but this stands out as the first time his work has been accessible to a wider audience (Fight Club and Seven having scared a lot of people away). It is a taut, complete thriller that stands up to repeated viewings.