Welcome to my first written textual review of a film exclusive to talkingmovies.ca. Before we get into it, I’d like to thank Microsoft’s spell and grammar check to ensure that I didn’t send you gibberish. I’d also like to thank everyone who’s taking the time out of their busy schedules to listen to the show, and to read this! Thank you thank you thank you!
Today I’m going to talk about the movie Escape Room.
Escape Room is the story of six strangers that find themselves in circumstances that they can’t control, and must use their wits to survive an immersive and deadly escape room.
Escape Room stars Taylor Russell (Netflix’s Lost in Space), Logan Miller (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse), Jay Ellis (Insecure), Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil/Breaker High), and Deborah Ann Woll (Daredevil). It’s written by Bragi Schut (Season of the Witch), and is directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan).
I saw this movie with a large portion of my escape room A-Team. Two of which are owners and operators of an escape room and have actually travelled to other cities and countries to attempt escape rooms. Our group is currently undefeated; I’d like to think we’re pretty good…
But, this is a movie! And that’s what I’m writing about… so let’s talk Escape Room.
Escape Room immediately comes across as a new horror/thriller series reminiscent of the Saw series which ended unceremoniously in 2017 with Jigsaw. Of course with horror movies, you are introduced to a rag tag group of replaceable people that check all of the “stereotypical” boxes… the genius… the “expert”… the self-proclaimed “leader”… the “asshole”… and so on.
I really liked the puzzles they needed to solve to finish the respective rooms; it gave the feeling of authenticity. Some puzzles would be difficult to find and solve, while others were ridiculously easy to find or hidden in plain sight. The movie was fairly predictable but that didn’t make the visuals any worse for wear. For example, each of the rooms the characters become trapped in were highly detailed and extremely stylistic in their own rights. I was particularly a fan of the black and white room, although there appeared to be a forced perspective angle to the room that was never talked about. Some of the acting was a little iffy at times, but overall no one was glaringly bad. It’s hard to say if it was the script or the actor themselves. The ending just sort of… happened… and it was heavily alluded to being a series, but explaining further would result in spoilers which I won’t do. While discussing the likely potential of a sequel, Stef and I both agreed that we won’t be rushing out to see it if it gets made, but I wouldn’t turn it off on a Saturday afternoon.
In a nut shell, Escape Room wasn’t as bad as critics are panning it. It was a decent movie, but it wasn’t a game changer in terms of the Horror genre. It’s another foray into the ‘torture porn’ type horror that made the Saw series nearly a billion dollars (not joking). There’s no jump scares (arguably one), and the soundtrack isn’t really there to heighten the tense moments. There’s no break out stars, or big names that pop up in cameos… what you see really is what you get.
This movie stuck around in the Top 5 at the box office for a couple of weeks and the theater I was in last night was about 2/3’s full, which is pretty impressive for a movie going into its third week that doesn’t have DISNEY/MARVEL/DC/LUCASFILM as one of the title cards.
Overall, I give Escape Room a B-.