Film Reviews

Film Review: Escape Room

Written by Noah Dorsey and directed by Will Wernick, Lionsgate’s new movie Escape Room was released in 2017 in Taiwan, and is set to release on Monday 29th October in the UK, just in time for Halloween. 

In this thriller/horror, a group of friends are taken to an escape room as a birthday gift, which takes a turn for the worse. The movie follows a group of friends as they encounter puzzles and death traps, whilst trying to escape before it’s too late. With escape rooms being an increasingly popular trend, watching this movie will definitely make you think twice about trying one.

The movie begins with a shot of a man’s unpleasant death in what appears to be an escape room which, whilst disturbing, later seems to be fairly irrelevant to the rest of the film. We are then faced with a group of friends out for Tyler’s (Evan Williams) birthday meal. His girlfriend Christen (Elisabeth Hower) gifts him escape room tickets which they, and the two other couples they’re with, are to use that night. Christen reveals she didn’t find this escape room experience online, rather, she was ‘invited’ to the game… this is where things start to get shady.

The idea of Christen being ‘Invited’ to the game is intriguing, though I was disappointed to see this did not get elaborated upon. This became a recurring theme during the movie, with several other moments during the movie appearing to be significant, but then not being drawn upon later in the film.

“A series of blood-shedding, skin-melting, disturbing events”

It takes a good while for the pace of the movie to pick up and for the genre of the movie to become more apparent, but once the friends have entered the escape room, events begin to take place at an increasingly fast pace. Christen is absent as Tyler and the other two couples try to find their way out, solving puzzles and riddles in order to enter the next rooms or be given further clues.

Whilst the first few clues and puzzles appear to be harmless, things get gory  in a series of blood-shedding, skin-melting, disturbing events and those involved start to realise they may well not be getting out of this ‘escape room’ alive. Christen later appears on a TV screen, naked and in a cage, which both worries and confuses her peers, as both they and us watching the movie are left wondering why she is not taking part in the game.

“In a saw-esque manner, the characters in the movie gradually drop in number”

Escape Room is certainly reminiscent of the Saw movies in terms of its gore, though not quite as severe. In a Saw-esque manner, the characters in the movie gradually drop in number, with an ending that could go either way.

“There are several things that happen throughout the film that could have been built upon”

Overall, the movie was a decent watch, but it definitely could have been a lot better. The trailer gives a somewhat false impression regarding Christen’s involvement in the events that take place in the escape room, however this isn’t elaborated on much in the movie. I won’t give away too many spoilers, but there are several things that happen throughout the film that could have been built upon in order for a more engaging and individual storyline, with more advanced and unexpected twists, because let’s face it, everyone loves a big twist.

Whilst the ending is slightly anti-climactic, and the movie had potential to be better, the movie was engaging for the most part and could certainly be enjoyed in the run up to Halloween.


Alana Mckenna 

Featured Image courtesy of Escape Room Productions and GEM Entertainment via IMDb. 

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