Escape To Survive

Name: Escape Room
Genre: Action, Adventure, Horror
Year: 2019

As escape rooms hit high popularity over the last few years it was only a matter of time for someone to release a horror movie designed around one. The film focuses on six strangers all participating in an undisclosed escape room. They soon come to realise that this isn’t a normal escape room, but a series of deadly, hazardous and life threatening traps built to entertain others. Well it entertained me! This engaging thriller gives you all the anticipation of Saw – with slightly less carnage.

The plot is pretty simple. You have six total strangers who receive a cryptic invite to take part in an escape room experience, with a chance of winning $10,000. After the first room, set out as a waiting room, turns into a human oven they soon realise this game is a death trap, forcing them to solve each puzzle as quickly as they can to survive. 

The players start to get very suspicious of who is behind the games, as whoever has designed the rooms connected them to their darkest secrets. Director Adam Robitel keeps a quick and frightening pace for the majority of the film, maintaining both a high level of adrenaline and uncertainty. The film itself is also visually satisfying, with rooms and puzzles designed so creatively, most memorable being the upside down bar.

The cast was chosen very cleverly, considering there were no exceedingly famous actors that would have the guarantee of surviving, it built the insecurity even more of who would be killed next. The characters are a mixed bag going from a traumatised ex-soldier, a shy but brainy student to a trucker. This gave the film a little more depth seeing how they socially interact with characters on different social levels and who would take charge during the rooms.

The shockingly disappointing reveal of how the characters are connected towards the end of the film, suggest that the writers was concentrating too much on the puzzle and trap designs. It felt like there was no element of anything resembling an actual emotional impact, which made the end slightly unsatisfying.

The treatment of the characters throughout the film felt a bit off balance. With the script showing various players secrets throughout the rooms, it felt like a lot of characters got off easily. This caused a problem that the audience would find it hard to connect and root for a certain character. The same goes for how they acted in the games. There are some fearless acts of heroism and some pathetic acts of selfishness, which is a good dynamic, but it didn’t go any deeper than that. The only reason I could assume they did this was to show that ultimately it was the players against the game maker.

The final act, the climax of the movie… wrong. It was far the weakest part of the film. The film seemed a lot more concentrated on setting up for a sequel than it did explaining and answering questions. Okay, fair enough, a billionaire setting up a death trap experience for entertainment isn’t going to be the easiest to explain but not knowing how they knew so much about the players leaves me irritated.

Following this, I do hope there will be many more escape room films in the future. The tension and suspense built up during the film in the acting and death-trap related thrills give this movie strength. So who knows… will this escape room attract more players in the near future?

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