While Escape Room inspires memories of SaW, it accomplishes much of what SaW originally did while being PG-13.
|Written By||Bragi F. Schut, Maria Melnik|
|Genre(s)||Horror, Thriller, Comedy|
|Good If You Like||Horror/Thriller Movies More About The Characters Than Shock or Gore|
Films Which Clearly Setup Sequels
Not Getting To Know The Real Villain
|Amanda||Deborah Ann Woll|
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Escape Room‘s Plot
Zoey, Michael, Danny, Amanda, Jason, and Ben could be seen as lucky by some. They share a rare trait that some may find enviable and yet said trait is part of the reason they end up in a series of escape rooms. So, depending on how you look at it, maybe they aren’t as lucky as they seem? Yet, with the possibility to win money if they are one of the rare, if not first, to escape this room designed by a company named Minos, maybe lucky still is the right adjective?
Well, you may think that until they begin to traverse through the 6 some odd rooms. For despite their collective expertise, they barely make it through room to room alive and together. Leaving you to wonder if the supposed game master had planned to teach these people a lesson, like the appreciate life more. If not the game master is your run of the mill psychopath who wanted to exploit these people for entertainment.
Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs
“Moving on doesn’t mean running away.”
You’ll Become Emotionally Invested
Though I still feel fairly new to actively pursuing horror films, one thing I’ve noticed is they are usually more into the shock value than taking the time to build up characters. You know, make it so you’re emotionally invested in the character rather than prepping for whatever scare is around the corner. Escape Room is different. Now, granted, some of it comes because some characters are just likable. Between Zoey who is cute and quiet, also a bit of a brainiac; Danny who is a sweet video game nerd; and Michael who has this middle-America, if not southern, papa vibe, it is hard not to like those three. Amanda as well, even though she is a bit rough around the edges.
But, with those four, even before you learn their sob story, there is this hope they’ll make it until the end. Which, for those who don’t, I won’t say you’ll end up crying but you will be low-key mad. Especially since a lot of their deaths, well except one, could have been prevented.
Sarcasm is a language used quite often in this film, and it leads to a lot of comical moments in the early parts of the film. In fact, it might be one of the few things which helps you get into Ben and Jason’s characters. For while they have a sob story like everyone else, they aren’t likable as the others are. Yet, with every joke Jason has on Danny, and Ben throwing in a jab or two, they grow on you. Not to the point, if you could vote, you’d sacrifice the others for them, but you don’t necessarily want something bad to happen to them.
Let me say this, the twist with this film will make you happy. Granted, it leads to the issue below but it isn’t like a lot of companies aren’t trying to create franchises.
On The Fence
You Don’t Get To Participate In The Puzzle Solving
This is not the kind of movie where you get to have a set of eyes and ears to say, “THE ANSWER IS RIGHT THERE!” or “Maybe the answer is…” You don’t get that frustration nor the chance to feel part of the game. You are just a voyeur, like a handful, or many, others.
It’s Clear You Won’t Learn More About the Minos Corporation, Or The Game Master, Until The Sequel – Which The Film Sets Up
Simply put, this film sets up a sequel. I won’t tell you with who or how, but it is made clear the people who watch and set up the Escape Rooms, they want more. Unfortunately though, while we get a small glimpse into how the Minos Corporation and Game Master decide on what trials to have, we don’t get much beyond that.
But, with that said, the sliver we get, it definitely pushes the idea that, similar to SaW, this could be a franchise that might go past 3 movies. Now, whether it’ll be good past the first sequel is a whole other thing. Of which, I’m leaning towards the answer being no.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Purchase, Rent, or Get Tickets On (Fandango/ Amazon)
I borderline want to recommend this for this is probably one of the best horror/ thriller movies I’ve seen in a while. Especially if you take note it doesn’t have any big-name actors, directors, and the production company hasn’t made a name for itself like Blumhouse, for example. Yet, arguably, while this may not put any of the named on the map, it definitely has franchise potential. Now, it could easily overstay it’s welcome, and milk this until nothing is left but dust but, like the aforementioned SaW, this could be the kind of franchise which started off so good before we’re left asking: What happened?
Hence the positive label. Escape Room finds a way to be that golden PG-13 rating yet still put you on edge a little bit, have a taste of violence, and still be compelling. Showing that rating doesn’t necessarily mean watering down a story but instead pushing innovation and creativity. Especially for the horror genre which so rarely has consistently fresh, or at least interesting, output.
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Escape Room Ending (Spoilers)
After escaping the fire room, everyone ends up in the ice room. In that room, after finding the key to get out, everyone asks Ben for his lighter and he decides to be an ass and throw it on the ice. Danny goes for it, stands in one place too long, and goes into the water below the ice. Which, thanks to a moving current, leads to everyone being unable to find him and him drowning to death.
In the upside down room, Amanda ends up on the other side of the room with the key to get out. She tries to hop onto one of the remaining panels in the middle of the room, since the key falls out of her pocket, but then the panel falls. Luckily, before she dies, she throws the key to Jason and he catches it.
In the hospital room, Jason believes that an EKG machine is the way they will get out. However, rather than believe they need to lower their heart rate to get out, he raises his and Michael’s. What kills Michael though is Jason using a defibrillator which causes Michael’s heart to stop.
In this weird, psychedelically painted wall room, Jason and Ben end up inhaling some kind of drug which makes them hallucinate. This leads to Jason revealing he wasn’t so much lucky he survived but killed his college roommate when they were stranded with only one jacket between him. He tries to kill Ben in a similar manner, for the sole antidote in the room, but Ben gets him first.
Leaving Ben seemingly the only one alive, for it is assumed Zoey died due to inhaling the poison in the hospital room. However, after busting all the camera in the room, we learn she was faking her death in order to get a jump on those who controlled the game. Something which saves Ben for while he figures out a way to survive the game, one of the overseers tries to kill him soon after. However, Zoey helps him get free and Ben, with the gun Zoey got from one of the cleanup crew members, kills that guy.
Leaving Ben trying to move on but Zoey stuck in trying to get justice. Leading her to learn Minos’ headquarters is in Manhattan. Thus she gets tickets for her and Ben which the Gamemaster learns about and even makes a game specifically for those two during their plane ride. Giving us an idea of how the sequel would start.