'Escape Room' Review: Potential Lost
'Escape Room' revolves around a group of people who receive invitations to participate in a... well... an escape room. What is thought to be just every other escape room turns out to be a fight for life and death as the rooms are full of death traps. The group of people must work together to escape every room alive.
I went in thinking this was going to be a dumb horror movie and I had no desire to see it. However, I reluctantly sat down to see if this one would be a hit or miss. I want to start off by saying I enjoyed the first act of this movie. I liked how they set the characters up to end up in the escape room building. After the first room I was actually kind of invested in this movie. Then it fell flat for me. A PG-13 rated horror/thriller movie about people working to escape rooms full of death traps is doomed to fail. Not saying that I like a movie with buckets of gore, but I would have liked if this movie was a little more aimed for adults. I wanted a more 'Saw' vibe to it. I did not get much background from the characters. It showed about 1 second of flashbacks for some of the characters, but other than that nothing. I did not know who these characters were and what their motives for staying alive were. When there was a character death that occurred, I did not feel any impact from the deaths because of the lack of character development. Where this film completely lost me was when they began explaining why they were chosen to participate in these escape rooms towards the end of the film. Each of the characters had something major happen in their lives that they had in common and were chosen for a survival of the fittest test. I just hate when a movie treats it's audience as idiots by explaining. I just feel like it is lazy writing to just explain what is happening. The writers should have taken an alternate route and showed the audience why they are placed in the rooms, and this may even add some character development that was lacking. We should have felt way more for these characters than what was put on screen. The last gripe of this film is the twist at the end. I won't spoil it for anybody who has not yet seen this movie, but it was dumb. When the final revelation on everything we have seen is explained, the film becomes a set up for a sequel. This film just completely lost me at this point. I was taken out because it seemed more of a cash grab opportunity than anything.
The thing I enjoyed most about this film is the rooms themselves. I thought they were pretty enjoyable to watch as the characters find the clues to escape. I was not sitting on the edge of my seat or saying to myself, "Oh, that was clever!", but I thought they did okay with the rooms. It was definitely the highlight of the film.
This movie had so much potential to me. Not having any interest to see this one, I was disappointed on how good it could have been. I kept comparing it to 'Saw' through out the movie. Not because it reminded me of 'Saw', but because I wanted it to be influenced by that movie. I wanted more twists and turns. I wanted more mystery that made me want to solve the puzzle with the actors on screen. I needed that curiosity that kept me wondering. I just wasn't invested as much as I want to be while watching a movie. This move is not the best one you will watch this year, but for a PG-13 horror/thriller based movie about death trapped escape rooms it is not all bad. If you're looking for a cheesy, dumb horror type movie to watch with your friends, this is the one for you!