Escape Room feels like a hybrid between the SAW and Cube franchises. Still, it worked surprisingly well for a horror movie without much innovation.
My expectations for Escape Room weren’t exactly great. However, the fact that we get to know the characters a bit before the story takes off, makes a huge difference.
Honestly, the plot is very reminiscent of both the Saw and Cube franchises. This itself isn’t a problem for me. After all, this kind of plot is perfect for horror movies!
The characters in Escape Room have to go through a serious of challenges, which involves solving mysteries. It’s all presented as “a game” but (of course) the games turn deadly.
This twist obviously puts a certain strain on the characters and their relationship with one another. Exactly because this is the key, the time spent introducing the characters was important.
If you’ve ever tried some kind of “Escape Room” it should all feel familiar. I have, personally, and thought it was pretty cool. Then again, no one died when I tried it.
A really great pace
One of the things that work really well in Escape Room is the pace. Far too often in horror movies, we have to sit through weird character development scenes that feel forced. Or maybe one too many flashbacks.
This movie doesn’t waste any time on these things, which means you should never feel bored or restless.
The mild downside of this is the fact that maybe the characters solve the mysteries a bit too fast. But on the other hand, it wouldn’t bee much fun to see them look through 10 drawers or 50 books for clues. So again, the audiences win!
Also, the characters have to go through several rooms. Trust me, this isn’t much of a spoiler since they start out in separate rooms and need to find one another. Also, there’s only one exit!
Good acting in Escape Room
Okay, we’re not talking award-worthy performances, but all the actors work really well in this movie. And again, this is mildly surprising since these movies often have to suffer mediocre performances.
Let me be clear; By “these movies” I obviously don’t mean horror or thriller movies.
No, I’m talking about movies that clearly have a lower budget and have a plot style we’re already very familiar with. These copycat (or paint by numbers, if you will) movies tend to not to focus too much on acting.
Escape Room is clearly different in that respect. There a no weak links, which ensures that the story is in focus. Also, it means we can accept the characters’ relationships with one another.
A solid Friday night horror movie
I can’t imagine this will become anyone’s new favorite horror movie. Still, you could easily choose Escape Room as your next Friday night horror movie and have a good time.
The movie was directed by Will Wernick, who’s done mostly short films in the past. He also worked on the story for this movie along with screenwriter Noah Dorsey (or Noah A.D. as he’s credited on this one). Noah Dorsey also made a few short films in the past.
In fact, the two started their movie careers together when working on the short film Mr. Miller Dahl from 2007. Wernick directed it while Dorsey wrote and starred in it. You can watch the approximately 8-minute short film for free on IMDb’s Withoutabox here!
I’d love to see these two working together again, but preferably on something a bit more innovative.
Escape Room premiered at Seattle International Film Festival in June 2017.
Director: Will Wernick
Writer: Noah Dorsey (as Noah A.D.)
Cast: Evan Williams, Annabelle Stephenson, Elisabeth Hower, Dan J. Johnson, John Ierardi, Kelly Delson
Six friends test their intelligence in a game that takes a dark turn.