Escape the room and survive is the synopsis for Sony’s newest psychological thriller, Escape Room. Directed by Adam Robitel, Escape Room, follows six strangers as they try to work their way through multiple deadly escape rooms, and that requires them to work together as a team to survive. The PG-13 film was previously titled The Maze because each escape room worked as a maze to get through. Light spoilers after the trailer.
Before watching this movie I had no idea that escape rooms were an actual thing that people go to. For a PG-13 film, Escape Room makes the most out of the rooms to give the film a personality since they’re not able to be gory as movies like Saw. There are five different escape rooms and each one has its own original look. The designs of the various escape rooms in the film were intricate, and you can tell the production crew took their time to create them. The best room in the entire film was the one that’s designed to be an upside down pool hall and bar. It’s one of the most creative set pieces in the film. There’s a lot of depth in this room, and the set designers paid a lot of detail to the small things like the posters on the wall. With only a 9 million dollar budget, the sets do not feel like they were rushed, which was a positive.
The characters in the film are enjoyable, but there’s no one that really stood out for me. They were mostly just tropes, but in a movie like this, it worked because the rooms and traps were the stars of the film. Zoey (Taylor Russell) is the main character and she’s introverted and the most intelligent when it comes to the rest of the crew. Ben (Logan Miller) is the loser of the bunch. He works at a grocery store and doesn’t have anything in his life going for him. Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) is a former military servicewoman and her character is to be the badass of the group. Mike (Tyler Labine) is the oldest member of the six strangers, and he’s been on hard times, yet he’s also used as comic relief for most of the film. Jason (Jay Ellis) is a jerk trope, he’s an overachiever who butts heads with the rest of the group because he’s full of himself. Danny (Nik Dodani) is a naive nerd, he’s been in escape rooms in the past, so he has experience, but none of his previous experiences were in escape rooms that tried to kill him. As usual in these types of films, there’s a convoluted reason why they were all brought together.There’s some humorous lines exchanged early on in the film during the first room. Jason and Danny had the best banter amongst each other. Even when the ways that some of the characters died were creative, I wish it would’ve given me more in that aspect.
The biggest issue is that the film could not escape its ending in time. Escape Room is only 109 minutes long, so the length of the movie wasn’t a problem, but where they decided to end it… let’s just say the last 10 minutes did not need to happen. There’s 3 times within the last 10 minutes this movie would’ve ended, and by the third time, it’s tiresome because the movie drops the ball. I assume someone at Sony felt like Escape Plan had to set-up a sequel, so we can explore a world where the movie is set in deeper depth. The first possible ending would’ve been lazy, but it would make sense based on the events of the rest of the film; after that the second ending had “WE MUST HAVE A SEQUEL,” written all over it, eye roll but sure, make your money; however, what they do for the third and final time, makes you leave the theater asking what kind of nonsense is this? Outside of that ending, and some LOL-funny script writing moments, this movie was cool for a January release. I would recommend this to anyone who did not like the grotesqueness of the Saw films or any pre-teens. There are movies like Cube that do the puzzle-maze-room setting more effectively. Fittingly, a film titled Escape Room didn’t know, before its eventual conclusion, that it had plenty of room to escape.
[All Mames Wey]
Escape Room was released in theaters January 4, 2019.