My local cinema only had one showing of Escape Room for the whole week and that was at 9 pm on Saturday. As soon as I saw this, I messaged my friend and just like that we went to see it. I went in completely blind, no trailer, no synopsis, just the title and the poster to go on. Escape Room turned out to be a really fun time, B-movie with a budget is what I got from it.
Six adventurous strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the escape room — a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles to win $10,000. What starts out as seemingly innocent fun soon turns into a living nightmare as the four men and two women discover each room is an elaborate trap that’s part of a sadistic game of life or death.
Sadly, just like with any B-movie, Escape Room does come with a ton of problems. Mainly with its cast, that’s not to say the acting is bad because for the most part it’s pretty good. Especially from actors Jay Ellis and Deborah Ann Woll. The issue lies with the characters themselves, everyone is either unlikeable or an idiot, all except Tyler Labine who plays Mike who I couldn’t help but just love. Watching Escape Room, I couldn’t help but be reminded of another similar movie from the late ’90s called ‘Cube’. Another fun movie that was plagued with bad characters.
The film is clearly aimed at younger teens, the last movie I saw that was clearly advertised for this audience was ‘Truth Or Dare’ a god awful movie and thankfully Escape Room never comes close to being this bad. One of the worst things the movie does is in its opening, by showing us who’s going to survive the room at the end already defeats the purpose of who it is I’m meant to root for. I understand the point of this opening, it’s meant to throw the audience into the action immediately. Personally, I don’t believe it worked quite as good as the director intended.
I’ll give the movie props, all of the rooms part of the Escape Room are extremely creative. The first is a reception area that slowly becomes hotter and hotter, the second being an incredibly cold room with the temperature slowly lowering. My favourite room was the third, a bar where everything gets turned upside down. The use of camera angles was extremely immersive.
It’s just a huge shame that the movie tries way too hard to set up future sequels then focusing on telling one story. This made me really dislike the ending as I felt there was no closure. The movie easily could have ended at a certain moment and I would have been satisfied but instead, it has the characters making the dumbest decision in the entire movie just for the sake of having a sequel. This final decision really made me dislike certain characters who I enjoyed watching throughout the movie.
Overall, Escape Room falls flat with delivering fleshed out or interesting characters but thrives on its interesting designs of the rooms. I enjoyed the lack of gore, otherwise, I would have felt it to be a Saw clone. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case. The directing is average but at times can be quite good. Specifically during the third room. A fun movie at best, if nothing to ride home about.
Escape Room (5.5/10)
Director: Adam Robitel
Runtime: 100 Minutes