REVIEW: ‘Escape Room’ Kicks off 2019 Horror Films with a Thud

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Escape Room - But Why Tho?

One of the films that I was most excited to see this year was Escape Room, directed by Adam Robitel. The film’s first trailer captured my attention within seconds. I’ve done a few actual escape rooms in the past and have come to really enjoy them. Escape rooms, or at least the basic concept of them, has been popularized by James Wan’s Saw. But Escape Room the movie seemed interesting and new, especially since escape rooms as a group activity have become more popular over the past few years.

The film follows Zoey (Taylor Russell),  Ben (Logan Miller), Amanda Harper (Deborah Ann Woll), Mike (Tyler Labine),  Jason Walker (Jay Ellis), and Danny (Nik Dodani), as these six strangers attempt to solve a series of escape rooms and win the $10,000 prize. However, they quickly discover that not everything is what it seems. The escape rooms have a series of deadly traps and they must use their wits to survive.

Taylor Russell and Logan Miller deliver outstanding performances with Zoey and Ben. Zoey is a bit of loner and dedicates herself to her studies and even with little character development, she quickly proves that she has what it takes to possibly get out alive. By the time the first trap begins, she’s no longer that scared recluse. As with the character of Ben, he undergoes a similar character development. However, his character takes a bit longer to fully change.

That being said, I really wanted to like this film. I thought that it would add something new to the subgenre of films that had already been created. However, it felt like I was watching a non-gory PG-13 version of Saw or The Belko Experiment.

The overall plot wasn’t quite clear at times and within the first 20 minutes of the film, the characters were already in the first escape room. The film gave a bit of background information for a few of those characters during those minutes while others were just introduced what the main plot took off.

The film also glossed over a lot of information about the escape rooms themselves and even the characters, but then tried to implement them in the middle of the film. While I’m not a huge fan of her character on Daredevil, I would’ve expected that Deborah Ann Woll’s character in the film would’ve been the best thing about the film. Instead, I found myself cheering for the only two characters that I didn’t think I’d root for.

One of the characters I really wanted to like was Danny. Nik Dodani’s character on the Netflix Original show Atypical is one of my favorite things about that show. But he’s cast as the typical nerd trope that you see in horror films who’s expected to know everything – I consider Randy from Scream, played by Jaime Kennedy as the standard of horror movie nerds. Dodani’s character just doesn’t quite deliver to go beyond the trope.

If this could be classified as horror, or any sub-genre related to it, I’d say no. Nothing really original came from this film. However, I came out of this film being a fan of Russell and Miller. I cannot wait for any future projects they do.

If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, I highly recommend you check out other films.

Escape Room
  • 4/10
    Rating - 4/10
4/10

TL; DR

The overall plot wasn’t quite clear at times and within the first 20 minutes of the film, the characters were already in the first escape room. The film gave a bit of background information for a few of those characters during those minutes while others were just introduced what the main plot took off.

1 Comment on “REVIEW: ‘Escape Room’ Kicks off 2019 Horror Films with a Thud”

  1. Escape Room wasn’t a great movie; I am sorry to say. How can you say that this movie kicked off 2019 with a thud when most people didn’t even enjoy watching this movie. You are entirely wrong here.

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