Escape Room (2019) – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

Escape Room (2019) - Title Card
66.67% (3)

While Escape Room inspires memories of SaW, it accomplishes much of what SaW originally did while being PG-13.


Director(s)Adam Robitel
Written ByBragi F. Schut, Maria Melnik
Date Released1/4/2019
Genre(s)Horror, Thriller, Comedy
Good If You LikeHorror/Thriller Movies More About The Characters Than Shock or Gore

Films Which Clearly Setup Sequels

Not Getting To Know The Real Villain

Noted Cast
ZoeyTaylor Russell
MichaelTyler Labine
DannyNik Dodani
Amanda              Deborah Ann Woll
BenLogan Miller
JasonJay Ellis

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Escape Room‘s Plot (Ending on 2nd Page)

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.”
— Zoey

Highlights

You’ll Become Emotionally Invested

Danny (Nik Dodani) after nearly dying.
Danny (Nik Dodani)

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.

The Sarcasm

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.

Ben (Logan Miller) after pulling off a door handle.
Ben (Logan Miller)

The Twist

Being that I save real spoilers for the 2nd page, I’ll tread lightly. Let me say this though, 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)

The Cast (Left To Right): Mike (Tyler Labine), Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll), Jason (Jay Ellis), Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Danny (Nik Dodani) sitting around a table in the first escape room.
The Cast (Left To Right): Mike (Tyler Labine), Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll), Jason (Jay Ellis), Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Danny (Nik Dodani)

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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