Movie Review: Escape Room

The popularity of escape rooms has been booming over the last few years, so you’d imagine it only be a matter of time before an escape room themed horror movie would come out. So we got two small budget Escape Room movies in 2017, but here comes the bigger studio produced one. Does this Escape Room fuel your desire to check one out, or get away as far as possible from one?

WHAT’S IT ABOUT:

The concept is pretty straightforward. How would you like to receive a box in front of your door with an opportunity to win a ton of money? Pretty good, right? Usually there is a catch to such opportunities. That’s no different for the six strangers that get those boxes of opportunity.

Nobody would say no to that. So we find out that six strangers locked in the most extreme rooms that will test their intellect and certainly their survival skills. It’s pretty dramatic and fitting for a horror thriller.

SCRIPT AND STORY:

I enjoyed the build and innovative ideas that were presented. The “rooms” were exotic and elaborate. The ideas seemed fresh. The themes were sequenced properly. Scorching inferno room, followed by bone freezing cold one, then you even get an upside down room. Fun visuals and well constructed sets.

There have been plenty group bonded thrillers and horrors when they individually meet their fate. So it’s a basic formula, but it’s fitting for this story more than most. Since you generally wouldn’t go to an escape room alone.

The characters are pretty basic also. The pretty cheerleader type. The smart kid. The cocky guy. You get the point. Nothing about these characters is special. The focus is on the plot and the variety of shocking twists and turns. An aspect that this movie does well with.

HOW DID THE ACTORS DO:

The cast doesn’t have any big names. Some are recognizable actors, such as Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll and Tyler Labine. The cast works as an ensemble. In most films of this genre there is always one or two characters that stand out from the group. Taylor Russell plays the smart and innocent Zoey Davis, who is the most featured actor in the film.

Each individual holds a secret that is revealed as the plot unfolds. Their individual secrets are tied into why they were selected to be part of the escape room. Back to the actors, they have solid chemistry and none of them seemed lesser than the other. Which serves well for what ends up on-screen.

WAS IT ENTERTAINING:

Escape Room is the best escape room movie out there. Ok, so that’s not saying much, but it’s very entertaining. I found it to be suspenseful through majority of it. In the middle portion it becomes a little vanilla and predictable, but then the final act shifts back to unpredictable. The ending offers a big twisted surprise.

SHOULD YOU SEE IT:

It’s the fun of an escape room, just from the comfort of your seat and without having to endure any life threatening situations. I liked how the film allows the viewer to try to figure out some of these puzzles along with the characters. It lets you in on the ride. After this, I’ll think twice before I venture out to any escape room with random strangers!

GENRE: Action, Adventure, Horror

RATING: PG-13

RUNTIME: 1 hr 39 min

RELEASE DATE: January 4, 2019

‘ESCAPE ROOM’ Score: 80%

Written by Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander hails from Chicago where he started his journalism career as a film critic and founder of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He's a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. Jim founded Reel Talker as a platform to share his love of movies and entertainment. Jim's favorite part of being a journalist is getting to meet and interview actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Jim is a host and on-camera personality for AfterBuzz TV. Aside from his work with Reel Talker, he's the site owner of the Bachelor Universe website, where he recaps and talks about all this ABC's 'The Bachelor'. He also runs the Reel Talker Podcast that can be found on iTunes. In his free time he enjoys attending sports events and playing in recreational leagues. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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