DIRECTOR: adam robitel (insidious: the last key)
STARRING: taylor russell, deborah ann woll, logan miller, and nik dodani
REVIEWER: purdie jenkins
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.
Six random strangers have been invited to participate in an escape room challenge which boasts a $10,000 reward. Each have their own reasons for accepting the invitation (from clients, professors, bosses etc) and why they would want to participate, the money being a major motivator. Once the game gets going though, the players realise that this is just a fun afternoon but a fight for their lives.
This review might need a disclaimer, that I haven’t been to an escape room myself; not that they never interested me, I almost feel like I missed the moment. After watching Escape Room, I have some hesitation about jumping into one; maybe it was the claustrophobic feeling of the rooms, or the smart way traps were set up, or perhaps it’s the idea of my only escape relies on cooperation with other people.
If you have a bit of an interest in Escape Room but haven’t seen a trailer yet, my recommendation is don’t, like most trailers it gives too much away. And the fun of Escape Room is what the next room looks like, what kind of traps or deaths lay ahead for the players, and unfortunately the trailer just ruins a lot of that fun. The set design is pretty incredible though, the creative team would have had a lot of fun putting together the room themes, props and traps.
There is some inspiration from the likes of cult-classic Cube and Saw. The tricky traps set up in ways that have slim chance of survival. However, unlike those sources of inspiration Escape Room has a lot less on-screen bloodshed. It seems we’ve moved on from litres and litres of fake blood and limbs coming off, which is a bit more refreshing and opens up to the more queasy audience.
The ending however, leaves a bit of a bad taste. It’s almost as if they kept coming up with a new ‘final moment’ and decided to keep filming and then add them all in. It’s a bit of a disappointment to have it drag its feet after having a lot of fun going through the rooms. Perhaps it’s just another set up for a sequel, but it definitely could have done with a tidier wrap up.
Escape Room isn’t too clever, but it is creative in taking a popular trend and making it scary.