Escape Room: A Fairly Good Attempt at Breaking Out of the Usual Horror/Suspense Flick Mold
There is no denying that a lot of adventure-seeking folks, who are obsessed in solving mystery puzzles and mazes, are the ones who inspired clever business owners in coming up with immersive escape rooms, meant to satisfy the daredevils’ craving for an adrenaline rush. And of course, a group of people locked in a mystery room, given a certain amount of time to find clues in order to escape death, is the perfect ingredient that gives off that spicy kick to a horror-suspense flick. Such is the setting of the film, Escape Room, directed by Adam Robitel, known for his films, ‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’ and ‘Insidious: The Last Key.’
In this movie, six strangers of different, eclectic personalities, reminiscent of “The Breakfast Club,” find themselves brought out together to try out a brand new experience – that is, to escape all the immersive rooms, on a promise of taking home the whopping $10,000 cash prize. There’s Zoey (Taylor Russell), a shy college student who excels in math; Then there’s geeky Danny (Nik Dodani) who is a self-proclaimed “escape room expert;” Jason (Jay Ellis), a successful stockbroker who seems to have made it far in the financial business; Ben (Logan Miller), an alcoholic who longs to find life outside his usual work routine at his uncle’s hardware shop; Mike (Tyler Labine), a truck driver from West Virginia who seems to be a happy-go-lucky person; and finally, Amanda, (Deborah Ann Woll) a war veteran with PTSD.
What’s interesting about this ensemble is that as soon as you observe their characters evolve in the story, the more you wish they all had longer screen time and more elaborate back stories. Instead of picking out favorites on who should win the game, you’ll only end up rooting for all the main characters to survive the entire adventure.
Although this film tried to break out of the mold of most psychological thrillers, as expected, the Escape Room still lacked originality and actually felt like a watered-down version of Saw and Final Destination, minus the gory details. But behold, you’d be surprised that despite missing out on having a trail of bloody brutal depiction of deaths in it (which are just oh-so-common in horror-suspense flicks), Escape Room never fails to keep you on the edge of your seat and making you still feel a bit queasy & disturbed with its death scenes.
The film’s cinematography is praiseworthy as it wonderfully showcased the beautiful details of each and every escape room. All rooms felt like a feast on the eyes, but the trippy room, the library, and the upside down bar with a billiard pool in it, just holds on into your memory for a while.
Aside from being titled, “Escape Room,” it should have also been named “Rollercoaster,” as the movie had its wild ups and downs and a tacky drop in the end. The last 10 minutes of the film should have been chucked out already, and it actually hinted on developing the story further in the form of a sequel. With a PG-13 rating and 1 hour and 40 minutes running time, Escape Room is definitely worth watching on the big screen and extremely exciting to get immersed into.
If you are down for a thrilling adventure, be sure to not skip out on this one, and make yourself feel like you’re actually playing the game of life while watching this movie. Escape Room opens in Philippine cinemas on February 27, as distributed by Columbia Pictures.