A new year with new movies, with much to look forward to, and how do we start it off? With the horror/thriller film Escape Room. To be honest, the trailers didn’t do much for me other than make me less excited about this movie but there was one thing that made me interested in the film; the concept. For those who don’t know what Escape Room is about, it follows six strangers who participate in an escape room, a game of mental and physical challenges and puzzles, for a cash prize that goes to the winner.
Overall, Escape Room is an okay movie that ultimately falls due to its lack of maximizing the horror elements and a terrible ending. It’s not an absolutely terrible film, as it has a few positives going for it and almost executes the premise well, but it is definitely not a good movie.
What I Enjoyed
- The Premise: Like I said, I love this idea of using the escape room craze to go for a Saw meets Final Destination type movie. Escape rooms are something that people are aware of and even if you haven’t done one before, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. If you don’t know about them, yes, you can actually go participate in escape rooms or something similar. Most cities have a business that runs them. The movie portrays what happens if some people’s worst nightmare comes true, the escape room becomes real and turns into a life or death circumstance. This is a cool idea for a movie but the idea only goes so far; you actually have to make a good movie around it.
- The Escape Rooms and Their Usage: Most of the escape rooms are pretty cool and terrifying. When I watch a movie like this, I automatically imagine what it would be like if I was there and put in these situations. That being said, I was terrified at the idea of some of these. Seeing these characters experience them and try to stay composed in doing so was an enjoyable part of the film. Not only were some of the escape rooms cool and terrifying but they had a purpose. The escape rooms weren’t just random but rather tied into the main characters and their back stories. I thought this part of the movie was handled very well and is arguably the only strong part of Escape Room.
There were some other small things that worked in the movie, such as a few of the performances, but as you can tell I can’t say much positive about it.
What Didn’t Work
- The PG-13 Rating: I don’t believe all horror or action movies need to be rated-R, not at all. Some movies work just fine as PG-13, even though they could have been elevated by an R rating. Escape Room is not one of those movies; I believe it needed an R-rating. I mentioned earlier that Escape Room has a Saw/Final Destination vibe, two heavy-concept horror films that I really enjoy, and both of those movies are rated-R. I believe the R rating played into their success and it’s one major aspect that made them work. The ability to show brutality and gore in the deaths in those movies is what makes them so enjoyable. I believe Escape Room should have done the same thing. Even if it does decent at the box office, I believe it could have used an R-rating to amplify the brutality that the escape rooms brought when killing characters, ultimately leading to more financial success in spreading word of mouth and repeat viewings. I don’t think general audience will participate in either after seeing Escape Room.
- The Ending: I thought Escape Room was decent and not a bad little horror movie until about the last twenty minutes of the film. It tried to incorporate “twists” and be unpredictable but it all seemed very cliche and turned it into a cheesy gimmick. It also tried to have an open-ending and cliffhanger, possibly hinting towards a continuation or a sequel. At a certain point, the movie needed to either end five minutes earlier or be twenty minutes longer. The last scene is abrupt and confusing. If audiences feel the same way I do, and the box office reflects it, then there won’t be a continuation to see.
Several other aspects, such as the dialogue, also didn’t work in Escape Room, but the lack of an R-rating and the conclusion to the movie are my major flaws.
Escape Room is not a dumpster fire of a film; it actually has some enjoyable elements and I do think some people will enjoy it. It’s not a bad choice if you just want to see a cheesy horror movie and have some beer and popcorn. However, you might want to wait until you can rent it unless what I described is your jam. It definitely wasn’t mine.
Have you seen Escape Room? If so, what did you think? Let us know and let’s start a discussion. I’m curious to know if people enjoyed and why.