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Escape Room: Not New, but Still Fun

Sometimes you just want to watch a fun movie regardless of its quality, how well it’s made, or even how novel it is. Escape Room is only marginally new, but still fun enough to watch.

Escape Room follows a group of unrelated individuals who each receive an invitation to an escape room competition with a $10,000 prize. Introvert college student Zoey (Taylor Russell) wants to get out of her comfort zone, grocery stocking boy Ben (Logan Miller) desperately wants to move out of his mom’s house, pragmatic stockbroker Jason (Jay Ellis) want to win, escape room enthusiast Danny (Nik Dodani) wants to conquer the most immersive escape room. War veteran Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) and struggling truck driver Mike (Tyler Labine) both just need the money. They all thought they had nothing to lose because this is just a game, isn’t it?

The feature’s concept is very cool specifically because of the current entertainment trend of young people going to escape rooms. The film has you wonder: what is the real insurance they can’t hurt you? It also has you wonder about the naïve trusting in the process where you pay money to be trapped in a room by people you do not know.

Also, the aspect of having the rooms tailored specifically based on the trauma or worst fear of each member of the group is a major plus.

However, a significant lack and a disappointment in the film is that the audience are not involved in the riddles in the room. Instead, they just watch while the group struggle to come up with the next set of numbers or find the next key. This aspect could have been a major immersive feature in the film to have audiences much more engaged in the movie by actually trying to solve the clues themselves.

The set design is quite creative especially the upside-down bar and the bad trip room (trying to avoid spoilers, you will get it when you see the film). There is so much more that could have been done with the other rooms, but as an overall, there was a notable effort in the set design.

For the acting, Taylor Russell and Jay Ellis stood above the rest with the most convincing performances that were just a bit above mediocre. Following right behind them was Deborah Ann Woll.  Logan Miller was not at all convincing as a messed-up kid whose life has been derailed. Tyler Labine and Nik Dodani were too cliché and seemed to melt into the background.

Escape Room is not so phenomenal a film that it will have you watching it over and over again, but it is a fun movie to watch with friends and wonder if it could ever happen to you.

Like This? Try

The Purge (2013), Saw V (2008), Get Out (2017).

360 Tip

After the death of five Polish teenagers, killed by fire in a real life tragedy which occurred within an Escape Room in Poland, the release date of the film was pushed back a few months in a number of countries, out of respect for the girls who were killed.

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