ESCAPE ROOM (2019) / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: ADAM ROBITEL / SCREENPLAY: BRAGI F. SCHUT, MARIA MELNIK / STARRING: DEBORAH ANN WOLL, TYLER LABINE, TAYLOR RUSSELL, LOGAN MILLER, NIK DODANI, JAY ELLIS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
A group of six strangers are brought together by a mysterious invite to an Escape Room - but the group have to quickly put their petty differences aside in order to survive a seemingly innocent game that turns deadly.
Escape Rooms are all the rage nowadays - every city seems to have one and every year we seem to get a movie based on the group puzzle activity (this film is not to be confused with Escape Room (2017) which is on Netflix right now). With that being said in order to stand out from the plethora of copycats, one must bring something new and fresh to the table - however, this particular set of rooms does not accomplish that.
From the start, none of the characters are relatable and are incredibly stereotypical - the nerd, the jock, the old guy, the geek, the loser and the war veteran. The dialogue when this ragtag group first meet in the lobby of the Escape Room sets the unfortunately lazy tone of the movie including the jock character (whose name is as forgettable as the rest of the victims) insults the nerd by saying he has "sexual relations" with "real human women". Essentially, the audience is rooting for the obviously evil corporation behind these twisted traps instead of the "protagonists" of the story.
The only true redeeming factor of the film is the design and implementation of the rooms themselves. Easily the best room takes place in an upside-down bar that requires our heroes to use their brains to solve puzzles whilst also using their physical abilities to prevent falling to their demise. This particular room is beautifully shot as well which demonstrates that Robitel and his DOP clearly have a keen eye for making an engaging movie - but this falls victim to a very weak script with a predictable twist and wooden characters.
After the lacklustre ending, we are presented with pure sequel bait which unfortunately is the norm in today's modern horror landscape but does open the door for more interestingly designed rooms in a future instalment (the only positive to hang on too).
Escape Room (2019) fails to really add anything interesting to this twisted torture sub-genre of Horror but still manages to be watchable at best. The design and execution of a majority of the rooms which at least keeps the audience engaged for its runtime - something that the script fails to do in a major way.
The special features on the Blu-Ray disc version of the film are the generic extras that one would normally find for a film of this ilk and therefore add nothing to make it worth forking out money for the home disc release.
- GAME, SETS, MATCH [4:55] - A behind the scenes look the production design that went into creating Escape Room and how they approached making each room.
- THE LONE SURVIVORS [4:19] - Interviews with the Director, Producers and Cast about the characters that are presented in the movie.
- DELETED SCENES [19:02] - A selection of deleted scenes including an Alternate Opening and Ending.
- WILL YOU EVER [1:58] - Interviews with Cast and the Director about if they would do Escape Rooms after making the movie.