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Escape Room Movie Review: Fast-paced, Twisted Thriller

What if an Escape Room game turned into a life and death ordeal?

Reviewed by on Jan 04, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews Escape Room. a fast-paced thriller with creative life and death challenges for a group of ordinary people who happen to have a secret in common.

By: Lynn Barker

In Escape Room, a group of strangers; a stockroom boy, an investment banker, a war veteran, a smart student, an escape room expert and a miner are all invited to make it through an escape room maze with the winner going home with $10,000. As it becomes clear that the rooms are actually deadly, will the group be able to work together to survive or will it be each player for him or herself?

Escape Room Trailer

The Summoning

We see a young man fighting for his life in an escape room, frantically searching for clues as the room’s walls close in on him. Three days earlier, college student  Zoey (Taylor Russell) is too shy to speak up in class although she is brilliant in Quantum Physics. Meanwhile, successful investment banker Jason (Jay Ellis) celebrates another win and grocery store stockroom boy Ben (Logan Miller) is refused a promotion because he’s a loser. Everyone gets a strange cube that seems impossible to open, but everyone finally opens it to discover an invitation to compete in an escape room game with a $10,000 prize.

Zoey tries to open her cubeZoey tries to open her cubeCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Gathering

All of the invited players including Mike (Tyler Labine) a miner, Amanda, a war veteran (Deborah Ann Woll) and Danny, an escape room expert (Nik Dodani) gather in a waiting room that they discover is actually part of the game. When the heat is unbearably turned up, the group must escape before frying. All have various flashbacks of incidents of trauma in their pasts.

The players get a too warm greetingThe players get a too warm greetingCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Into the Rooms

Zoey uses clues to help the group escape and Jason is the first to climb out of the room. They end up in a small cabin with more need for clue solving and escape. Ben figures out the most prominent clue. Outside it is freezing and they are on the edge of a frozen lake. There is only one warm jacket and the group decides to share it. The group follows more clues and when Ben is berated for stepping aside to smoke a cig, he tosses his lighter to Danny who crashes through the ice into a lake below and drowns! The group argues about who is responsible. This is a life or death game!

In the cabinIn the cabinCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Upside Down

The next room is an upside down pool hall with a floor that keeps dropping away to reveal that the group is very high up with a horrible drop below. As they climb around the edges of the room and try to figure out clues, more and more of the floor drops away until someone else loses their life. Jason realizes this is a survival of the fittest game.

In the pool room the floor is disappearingIn the pool room the floor is disappearingCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Hospital

The next room replicates hospital rooms where each player once recovered from a horrible accident or disaster. They are all sole survivors!  Zoey is for breaking the rules and smashing the cameras watching the players. As she does so, the rest realize that they will be gassed if they don’t figure out the clues in five minutes! By the times clues are put together, the gas is released and Zoey is seemingly a victim. Jason and Ben end up in a weirdly-shaped black and white room in which they both have some kind of drugged psychedelic experience. Finally we see Ben in the room that seemed to crush him when the film opened.

Jason doesn't know what he's in forJason doesn't know what he's in forCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Will Anyone Win?

Who is still alive at the end of the game? Who is actually the gamemaster? Who are those watching this life or death struggle? Can anyone actually win? If they survive, can they get even?

Can war vet Amanda win?Can war vet Amanda win?Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Wrapping Up

Escape Room is a very fast-paced, creative, psychological thriller that will keep you interested even if some of the clues are lame. The characters are a bit different than those in the average, “they get killed one by one” horror film and you will have your favorites. The escape rooms are creative as are a few twists in the story although the overall villains are types you’ve seen before. The fact that the players are all unbalanced by events in their pasts that they all have in common is interesting.

Escape rooms are creativeEscape rooms are creativeCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The fact that the so-called winners of the game may never actually escape those betting on the outcome even in the outside world is unique. Being a PG-13 film, we don’t have the guts and gore of a Saw movie and really don’t need them. We had fun and the movie held our interest. For a film released in the usual “dead zone” of post-holiday January, Escape Room, although flawed, is quite entertaining. We award four stars.

Escape Room Movie Rating: 4

Escape Room Movie PosterEscape Room Movie PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

See Escape Room in theaters now.

Give Us Your Opinion

Have you ever wanted to take pals and party in an escape room? Have you? What if you really could not get out and the game became deadly? Are you glad that some films don’t have guts, blood and gore and don’t need them? Let us and fellow kidzworld visitors know with a comment and/or write about it on your profile page!