Escape Room

Wicked Wednesday: Escape Room (2017)

***Warning: The following post contains an excessive use of exclamations and all caps.***

Turns out there are quite a few horror movies called Escape Room. I could almost dedicate a month to solely watching escape-room themed films. (I’m definitely not.) No, this isn’t the semi-successful one from earlier this year. No it isn’t the other one starring Skeet Ulrich and Sean Young. This is the other, other one. The one free to watch on Netflix.

A girl has priorities, and that’s saving myself from spending money on movies I probably won’t like. I’ll save my money for real escape rooms. Certainly wish I had escaped watching this movie.

Heh-heh.

Escape Room is essentially what is says on the label: a group of friends go to a secret escape room for a man’s birthday.

The birthday boy, Tyler, is a real tool. He’s cheating on his girlfriend, Christen, with the not-so-subtle Natasha. He hates on homeless people for fun. He thinks he’s really intelligent despite constantly being proved otherwise. And he’s just an all-around asshole.

And in slasher movies, I enjoy a really hate-able cast. That is, as long as they’re fun to hate. Somehow Christen and Tyler have assembled the worst group ever as friend to surround themselves with. And it’s a blessing when they all start dying off.

About half of Escape Room is literally just the groups trying to play the game. They begin in three separate rooms to be later reunited. It isn’t until later that they realise Christen is nude in a cage, not playing along.

Though it turns out that watching other people solve clues isn’t always fun. This is mostly due to the script’s leaps in logic and the ease in which the players guess the answers to the clues. Perhaps it would have been a bit better if the viewers could have helped solve things along the way, but er, the script isn’t quite so refined.

Soon Tyler’s sister and her boyfriend get strapped in a room and are “acid gassed” to death. So the three remaining player know for certain that this isn’t just a simple game.

Somehow Tyler knows they need to leave the room by using the ventilation system (?). But they discover more puzzles along the way, one in which kills Anderson, Natasha’s husband.

But Natasha and Tyler (the remaining two) find themselves back in the original room. The two find the last puzzle: a lever linked to the exit door. Tyler puts Natasha in charge of pulling the lever, and her arm is ripped off.

Tyler leaves Natasha to die alone, and he comes face-to-face with a screen of Christen. They’re finally able to talk to each other, and Tyler spends his last remaining two minutes in the escape room blaming Christen for everything.

At the one minute mark, buttons light up in their respective locations. They’re each given an option: “Save Me” / “Save Him/Her”. Tyler, of course, saves himself. Christen choose to save him.

She escapes.

Christen goes to a payphone and calls 9-1-1. The call is hacked (again – ?) by the man who orchestrated the escape room. He kindly reminds Christen that she brought everyone there so it’s her fault they’re dead. She wanted an escape and she got it. OR DID THEY WANT TO ESCAPE HER????

Uh. I guess that’s an option?

There is a lot here that’s very confusing:

  1. There is a friend at the dinner party who cannot join in on the game. Why this character is important is never explained.
  2. Why the heavy hints that Christen was the one plotting the escape room? Just as a red herring?
  3. The fuck was that video footage of the sex party? Just ‘cus?
  4. WHY WAS THIS CHRISTEN’S FAULT?? There’s a line at the end that the ‘organiser’ delivers to Christen, something about them escaping her. It literally makes no sense. Unless she deserves to suffer because she’s so boring?
  5. Why did I even bother with this movie?

It seems like these are things the world may never know.

It’s safe to say that this is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s the usual culprits: the editing, the acting, the dialogue, the plot. But Escape Room fails on to hit any marks.

This film tries desperately to be the next Saw but is very, very far from it. I certainly think with the right script it could be something interesting. It’s really just bemusing that the movie opted out of any sort of twist. I mean, why play it so straight? This is a movie about puzzles, dammit! WE NEED TWISTS!

Maybe one of the many other Escape Rooms have done better, but I’m a bit too jaded to find out.