Yes, Escape Room is a blatant Saw rip-off with elements of Hostel thrown in for good measure. Yes, a few of the characters are irredeemable assholes who got what they deserved. Yes, my expectations for this surprisingly successful lukewarm PG-13, Diet Coke horror film were low as fuck. However, the concept works. Escape rooms have been around for a while now, and while I haven't done one myself (yet), I've always wanted to. It's a cool idea. Try to escape a room using hidden clues and working together as a team. Of course that would translate perfectly to a horror film, possible even a franchise if Tournament of Champions makes a splash.
Six strangers, who all have an intriguing connection, are lured into a mysterious escape room with the promise of ten grand to the winner. What they find is that in this escape room, the terror is real and they're all on the slab. While most of the characters were easy to root for, Jason the day trader (Ellis) was, to quote Peter Quill, 100% a dick. Zero likable traits, zero skills beyond a toned bod, and I couldn't wait for him to die. Same went for Ben (Miller) until shit got real, then he stepped up. This film exceeds in production design and genuine stakes. You can feel the tension the entire time. I do wish they'd pushed for an R-rating, but it doesn't hurt the film all that much. We just could've gotten crazier dialogue and even crazier gore.
Escape Room is a fun watch, which I was not expecting. The characters are interesting and well-written, the villains are shown to be shadowy and well-funded (perfect for a franchise), and the rooms themselves are creative and memorable. I'm actually looking forward to this weekend's sequel now.
As most people know, January isn’t exactly well known for its quality movies. Especially horror. The amount of crappy horror movies I’ve seen in the months of January and February is staggering. Cue flashbacks to the suffering I inflicted upon myself during The Bye Bye Man. So, needless to say, I was quite skeptical when I first heard about this film. It was releasing in January, seemed like a watered-down Saw rip-off, and just did not impress me with the trailers. But, I decided to give it a chance. And, for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised.
There’s quite a bit that works for this movie. The performances are strong and the story flows along pretty nicely. Even the ending, which just baits for the sequel, works. And I usually hate when movies do that. Granted, this one is getting a sequel and that’s mainly why it works. And, as for the reason this film mainly works, the various escape rooms. They are, for lack of a better word, awesome. Each one is unique and just plain cool to watch. The filmmakers did an excellent job in designing these rooms. With that said, there are things holding the film back. One being the rating. As I’ve said before, I’m not a stickler for films having to be a certain rating. But, in the case of Escape Room, they should have gone for the harder R-rating. Could have gotten away with more, in my opinion. The other being that a certain character could have been left out. He was obnoxious and rude, and I really hated every second he was on screen.
Escape Room should not have worked. It released in a terrible month for movies and felt like a rip-off of a more well-known franchise. Yet, despite all that, it turned out to be a decently enjoyable movie that takes advantage of its concept. Yes, I wish it would have been more graphic for my taste. But, I’ll take what they gave me. I was definitely intrigued enough to see a future movie. And, with a sequel already in development, it looks like my curiosity will be fulfilled.