Escape Room (2019)

The age of horror took a major turn when the Saw series unleashed its gory thrills to the Hollywood industry. Sadly, the very edge and gimmicks it brought grew stale, as sequel after sequel appeared to dilute the quality and originality. Soon carbon copies came in, eventually flooding the market with mediocre films that didn’t do much to progress the genre. Still, there are always those hopes that some quality still lurks in the chaotic slew that is this genre. Hi, Robbie K here with his first review of the year on the latest Horror movie entitled:

Movie: Escape Room (2019)

Director: Adam Robitel Writers: Bragi F. Schut (screenplay by) (as Bragi Schut), Maria Melnik (screenplay by) Stars: Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Tyler Labine

LIKES:

New Twist Attention To Detail/Creativity Good Acting Character Development Story Stuck To Gimmick Suspenseful Energy Short Run Time

SUMMARY: These types of films fall victim to stale presentations and lack of originality. As such, the Escape Room approach was a nice twist on this film bringing with it a new creativity and approach that was refreshing. Each of the rooms had extraordinary detail, planned out to feel like the intense game of survival, filled with snares, baits, and clues to spur the threats on. Such design brought with it new arenas to engage your mind and held much more sustenance. What further advanced the story were the characters, contenders who for once had more dimension than simple, snobbish, cannon fodder that often take center stage. These players held backstories, opportunities to learn, and personalities that evolved with each passing minute. As such, I found myself rooting for the team to succeed instead of rooting for a timely demise to end their flawed personalities. The actors had more room to use their talents to cross the spectrum and do a surprising job expanding upon what was once simple roles. Tying all of this together those, was an engaging story that managed to combine all the backstories, gimmicks, and flair into an engaging cinematic piece that delivered on its promise, but remained interesting on many levels. Uncovering the mysteries, solving the clues, and keeping the energy flowing through the film with a presentation that was filled with anticipation and excitement. Given that they balanced the gimmick with a story it gets bonus points, even more so keeping it in the short run time leads to even more bonus points.

DISLIKES: Cliché A few stretches Wanting More Backstory for some characters Ruined by Trailers

SUMMARY: Sadly, all the planning and details laid out still haven’t escaped the cliché and unoriginality that follows these types of films. Escape Room falls into these own sets of traps, but fortunately the spin, ingenuity, and suspense are able to divert the blunt of this area of improvement. One of those that is a bit eye rolling, is that the rooms takes some stretches of the imagination and ignoring reality to get on board. While most of it is acceptable, there are some times I had to turn my brain off extra to get over the unrealistic hurdle. In addition, there was a little bit of adjusting the story order I would have liked to see, placing all the character stories closer to the beginning where their lives were explained in more detail. Had they done this, I feel some of the parts rushed over for me would have been improved, but this minor detail is nothing compared to my big limitation. That much of the story, twists, and fates have been revealed in the trailers to great detail. If you’ve got a good memory, and watch the trailer with enough focus, you’ll get about 60-75% of the movie revealed. So avoid the trailers enough and you will be okay, but otherwise look forward to the last 25% to really give you the last tidbits.

The VERDICT:

This genre is what you pay for, but fortunately Escape Room renews the potential for greatness in this type of movie. With a focus on detail, character designs, and story integration this addition to the group was fantastic for me. It’s engaging pace and suspenseful energy will offset most of the film’s limitations. Given all the visuals and fun I had, the movie is well worth a trip to the theater and certainly one of the better horror movies to show up in a while, at least in terms of thriller/slasher. I certainly enjoyed this film and look forward to this direction for future installments if possible. My scores are:

Drama/Horror/Mystery: 8.0-8.5 Movie Overall: 6.5-7.0

Review by rgkarim

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