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No one knows who invented Panic or when it first began. But in the forgotten rural town of Carp, Texas, the game is the only way out. Every summer the graduating seniors risk their lives competing in a series of challenges that force them to confront their deepest fears for the chance to win life-changing money. Anyone can play. Only one will win. Let the games begin.
Between the stellar performances from its ensemble of young stars, a story with enough twists and turns to overlook its occasional unremarkable sequences, Panic has the potential to be 2021's next YA hit.
There was a time when Oliver's book would have made for an intense, entertaining 100-minute movie, but it strains under the pressure of a 10-episode season. Even for teenagers eager to take on the world, more isn't always better.