Escape Room

A birthday celebration among friends in an escape room takes a terrifying turn when the clues that lead to the exit door become increasingly deadly.

Year: 2017
Certificate: 15
Director: Will Wernick
Starring: Evan WilliamsAnnabelle StephensonElisabeth HowerDan J. JohnsonJohn IerardiKelly DelsonIris AvaleeDarrel CherneyCathy Diane TomlinCali Fredrichs

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Often nonsensical and likely to leave you feeling disappointed…

I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers. I can watch a film with twists and turns over and over again, appreciating the way in which the filmmaker is able to lead you down a path and tell you a tale only to show you that that wasn’t the right path after all. I have also long been a fan of escape room games; I’m not very good at them but everyone loves a trier. I think the escape rooms have a similar attraction as often the answer is staring your right in the face. So when I saw “Escape Room” advertised on Netflix I had to give it a go.

I am really glad I did! Not because the film was any good, but because I can warn you, beloved readers, to avoid this particular film.

The film centres around a group of friends celebrating a birthday. As they settle down for an evening meal, they discuss what each of them has for the birthday boy Tyler, played by Evan Williams. It’s made clear here the personality of each of the friends and even where friction lies in their little group. Christen (Elisabeth Hower), Tyler’s girlfriend, presents each friend a key – a key, she says, that allows them to enter an escape room where as a team they have to work together to get out.

On the way to the room, Christen explains to the group that she was sent the invites from an unknown person, and she arranged this birthday surprise. After handing over their mobile phones and placing a blindfold over their eyes, Christen leads them towards the fun.
Eventually, each person realises they have reached the ‘Game’ and they start to remove their blindfolds to see the room they need to escape.
The first problem is, they are not all in the same room.

The film plays out as you would expect with twists and turns and arguments and moments of elation, but I was just left feeling a little letdown. The puzzles made no sense and the solutions were often so ridiculous there was no way they could have realistically been solved.

This probably wasn’t helped by the extremely sub-par acting and direction. Each scene with certain actors just looked unnatural and forced. Although none of the cast were big household names, a quick look at IMDb shows that these are no amateurs so it is a puzzle in itself why the film is such a mess.

There is a little bit of gore mixed in with the puzzles allowing the story to move on and this may have been the best bit about the film. That may sound a little odd, but the special effects may have been the only department that did their job and did it well.

When the ending came and I awaited the twist, the “OMG moment”, the payoff, it was again nonsensical and left me feeling disappointed.

It seems to be a popular theme at the moment. This is one of at least 3 films with an escape room theme that has been released over the past couple of years and I would put a pretty large bet, that there may be a better film to watch than this one…

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

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