Dog’s Movie House: “Escape Room” Clever Details But Shallow Characters!
Howdy Folks! It’s The Kendog With A Look At “Escape Room!”
I have to admit I knew absolutely nothing about “Escape Room” going into the film save that it looked like a second rate, trendy version of a film like “The Belko Experiment.” I’m pleasantly surprised to tell you that this is a fun little film although it suffers from many of the same flaws these types of thrillers often encounter.
“Escape Room” tells the tale of six strangers who are invited to participate in an elaborate escape room in order to win a $10,000 prize. The mysterious company behind the game soon reveals that this escape room will be like no other as the six must literally solve the puzzles and escape before each room’s booby traps literally kill them. The players which range from a shy college genius (Taylor Russell) to an arrogant day trader (Jay Ellis) all find out that have something in common in that they are sole survivors of horrific accidents. The circumstances of their survival are drawn out as they each find themselves confronted with aspects of their previous hardships via details scattered throughout each room.
The actors are fine and believable in their roles, but beyond their specific traumas, the script (by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik) doesn’t do anything to give them any depth. Russell is probably the most impressive of the bunch as a shy, introverted genius who finds her inner Ripley when the going gets tough. Also good is Tyler Labine as Mike, a working class stiff who’s aw-shucks manner belies a fairly sharp mind.
Fortunately the screenwriters and director Adam Robitel put a lot of thought into the actual game, making “Escape Room” a fun thrilling exercise. Each room is different and the clues are really interesting, investing the audience in solving the puzzles even if the characters are a bit difficult to care for. The low budget production has a tactile feel that really adds to the likeability of the film. Each room feels like a real escape room and some of the most suspenseful moments in the film come from these elaborate but easy-to-follow set pieces.
Unfortunately the film almost shoots itself in the foot in an attempt to build a franchise. As a result I found the ending somewhat underwhelming although I would like another chance to view a whole new round of escape rooms and puzzles in a future installment. Just give me some characters I can care about please. 3 1/2 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!