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Ataque de Pánico!
Directed by Fede Álvarez
Produced by Emiliano Mazza
Fede Álvarez
Written by Fede Álvarez
Starring Christian Zagia
Sergio Rondan
Diego Garrido
Ariadna Santini
Music by John Murphy
Rodrigo Gómez
Cinematography Pedro Luque
Editing by Fede Álvarez
Studio MURDOC Films[1]
Release date(s) November 03, 2009 (on YouTube)
Running time 4 min 48 sec[2]
Country Uruguay
Language Spanish
Budget $300[3]

Ataque de Pánico! (Spanish for Panic Attack!) is a 2009 Uruguayan sci-fi short film, directed by independent filmmaker Fede Álvarez.[4]



Screenshot from the film.

Giant robots appear out of the mist and attack Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Accompanied by a squadron of spacecraft, they fire weapons at the city and destroy key buildings, leading to mass panic. At the end of the film, the robots fuse together to form a giant sphere, which then detonates and engulfs the city in a fireball. No explanation is given for the attack.


The short was filmed in 2009 in Montevideo. The official production budget was given as only $300. In addition to writing, editing and directing the film, Álvarez did the visual effects based on computer-generated imagery.[5]


The music accompanying most of the short is "In the House - In a Heartbeat", an instrumental piece by John Murphy. The music was originally composed for the 2002 film 28 Days Later.


After being uploaded to YouTube, the film's reputation spread by word of mouth, and received a boost when it was linked from the blog of Kanye West.[6] Fede Álvarez stated in a BBC interview: "I uploaded Panic Attack! on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of e-mails from Hollywood studios."[7]

As a result of the popularity of the short, Ghost House Pictures signed with Álvarez for him to develop a new project, not necessarily based on the film.[7] The Ghost House Pictures film will be produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert,[8] executive produced by Roy Lee and Doug Davison.[9] The film has been cited as an example of the increasing influence of the Internet in finding new talent for Hollywood studios.[10]


  • Diego Garrido
  • Pedro Luque
  • Ariadna Santini
  • Rodolfo Sayagues


The film was premiered on October 31, 2009 at the Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre film festival and uploaded to YouTube on November 3, 2009.[11] Following widespread media coverage, he was offered a $30 million Hollywood deal to develop and direct a full-length film, which will be produced by Sam Raimi.[7]


  1. ^ Tecayehuatl, Eric (November 9, 2009). "Ataque de Pánico!: Robots gigantes invaden Uruguay (Cortometraje)" (in Spanish). FayerWayer. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  2. ^ Smithson, Sean (November 13, 2009). "News: Giant robot goodness with Ataque de Pánico! aka Panic Attack!". Twitch. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  3. ^ Corvalán, Felipe (November 28, 2009). "El director de Ataque de pánico! pasará del corto al largometraje" (in Spanish). FayerWayer. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  4. ^ "Sam Raimi Helps Filmmaker Fede Álvarez Usher in an Alien Invasion". November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  5. ^ Robots gigantes de Montevideo a Hollywood - BBC Mundo interview with Fede Alvarez (Spanish)
  6. ^ "Hollywood has a 'Panic Attack!'". Los Angeles Times. November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  7. ^ a b c "YouTube video leads to Hollywood contract". BBC. December 17, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  8. ^ Fleming, Michael (November 29, 2009). "‘Panic’ pushes Hollywood buttons". Variety. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  9. ^ Miska, Brad (November 29, 2009). "Sam Raimi Mentors Fede Alvarez for Alien Invasion". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2009-01-01.
  10. ^ Short of the Week - Film Review
  11. ^ Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre 2009 Retrieved 2010-02-04.

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