‘Find the clues or die’
Escape Room is a 2019 American psychological thriller directed by Adam Robitel (Insidious: The Last Key; The Taking of Deborah Logan) from a screenplay by Bragi F. Schut (Season of the Witch) and Maria Melnik.
The movie stars Tyler Labine, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Nik Dodani, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis, Jessica Sutton, Adam Robitel, Jamie-Lee Money, Kenneth Fok, Vere Tindale, Paul Hampshire, Cornelius Geaney Jr.and Gino Lee.
Box Office Mojo has reported: “Escape Room debuted in second place with an estimated $18 million, well ahead of industry expectations and doubling its reported, $9 million budget. Opening weekend audiences gave the film a “B” CinemaScore, which is a decent score given the genre, while demographics saw audiences split 50/50 male-to-female…” (01/06/19)
Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die…
Reviews [may contain spoilers]:
“Escape Room is an entertaining, if somewhat generic endeavor. Boasting solid performances and some beautiful sets, you could do a lot worse at the cinema right now. It’s a fun time-passer. Not great. Not terrible. But a perfectly serviceable way to start off the 2019 film year.” Bloody Disgusting
” …rather than throwing up buckets of blood and severed limbs while pushing the boundaries of gore, the filmmakers here are sticking to smartly crafted, multistaged puzzles that usually engage the audience just as much as the survivors scrambling to piece together all of the clues before each doomsday clock runs out.” Flickering Myth
” …there is grisly Alice in Wonderland surrealism […] A very cinematic spatial impossibility is conjured up by Robitel as he allows the audience to ponder how exactly these rooms are supposed to fit together. The film has a vicious streak of throwaway black comedy.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Though it’s refreshing to see a horror/thriller with a black female lead, the film falls into other problematic tropes like killing a person of color first. If there are weaknesses in the first two acts, the outrageous sets and fun cast get you through. But the apparent ending is too similar to recent films like The Belko Experiment and Mayhem to feel anything other than lazy.” IGN
“Escape Room is pure, unadulterated fun. As we watch our protagonists unravel the many clues laid out in front of them, you find yourself doing the exact same thing, trying to beat them to the punch but this being a movie, the filmmakers don’t give us enough time, or clues, to decipher them ourselves, instead, they let our onscreen counterparts do the hard work.” Irish Film Critic
“Escape Room may not reinvent the wheel or shock audiences with any major revelation, but it certainly manages to entertain. This is the type of film that works thanks to putting the right parts together. Robitel does a nice job of creating a tense environment, and the script and actors manage to make the insane situation work much better than you’d expect.” JoBlo
“I was hoping that Escape Room would be more unique and not just fall into some tired Hollywood narratives that we’ve seen, but unfortunately it wasn’t able to do that. Escape Room is a short and sweet ride – it’s not amazing or revolutionary – but it was fun…” Punch Drunk Critics
“Given the visual hints and flashbacks scattered through the opening act (not to mention the tell-all trailer), it comes as no surprise that, once again, the protagonists’ current predicament is linked to common past trauma that will be revealed in a crucial turning-point scene. The ultimate endgame behind it is also no surprise…” Rue Morgue
“Escape Room is too much fun to completely disregard. A movie about killer escape rooms really has no business being this electrifying. But the climax confounds me, and leaves me feeling ripped-off and even a little angry. Why did it have to end up this way? Why did the movie have to collapse under the weight of its own ambition?” Slash Film
” …it shamelessly sets up a sequel that few are likely to want. Though it has moments of true tension and is entertaining in parts, Escape Room’s poor characters and unintentional comedy ultimately make this an adventure not worth going on.” Starburst
“The first part of the film gets some airy momentum going. Then, however, we learn the secret of what the characters have in common, and it gives you that slightly sinking feeling of one contrivance too many. Who gives a damn if they live or die? Certainly not the movie, and so, following suit, not the audience, either.” Variety
“We asked to sit in this room with 100 minutes of escapism, and Escape Room, in an impressive display of truth in advertising, gives it to us, with a little bit more panache than we were probably expecting. In other words, Adam Robitel’s film makes the most of a bad setup and emerges mostly victorious by the end.” The Wrap
Escape Room was released by Sony Pictures on January 4, 2019.
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