HOLLYWOOD—Let me ask you a question: have you ever been inside an escape room? For those of you not in the know, it’s an establishment where you are locked inside a room. Inside that room could be people that you know or in some cases people that you may not know as well. You are given a certain amount of time to figure out the clues before it’s too late. In real life, nothing actually happens to you, but the film “Escape Room” takes that notion and makes it downright deadly.
I will admit I found the premise of the movie intriguing to say the least because for those who have NEVER been inside an escape room, you might elect not to do so after seeing this movie. Yes, some of the antics depicted here are far-fetched and not completely grounded in reality, but we’ve seen crazier things in real life haven’t we?
What works for “Escape Room” is the flick does load the viewers with a massive amount of backstory; in an odd way it works in favor and against the film. It early on establishes for the audience who are core characters are and who are those that are likely to meet their maker early on in the film or at some point. So the predictability factor does shave off a few points of originality for the movie if you ask me.
With that being said, the visuals to stage these elaborate puzzles and escape routes is fun; it’s like an invitation for the viewer to figure out the puzzle with the characters and to do so before it’s too late. Some things are obvious, but at the exact same time, common sense will tell you that many of the things in these so called escape rooms are red flags.
You should KNOW not to grab the lighter, not to mention if something seems too obvious that is likely the wrong choice to begin with. The actors and actresses in the film do a fair job with their characters. This includes “True Blood” alum Deborah Ann Woll and “Insecure” star Jay Ellis. There are also fun characters like Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller), who seem front and center as characters with the sharpest brains out of the group.
There are a few twists in “Escape Room,” but if you look closely you could spot them a mile away. Only a person not actually thinking about the outcome of each puzzle or the endgame of the movie will fail to catch them. Can I give “Escape Room” a golden star for being one of the most original thrillers I’ve seen in years? The answer is no, but I can give it a thumbs up for entertaining me and causing my brain to think a little. If only the movie made its characters a tad bit smarter, and developed enough of a backstory with our core six to make us care if they live or die then you’d have a movie worth giving tons of praise to.