Six strangers find themselves in a room together after each entering a competition to win a prize of $10,000. In order to win, they must conquer the “escape room”. Innocent fun soon morphs into a living nightmare as the group learn they are trapped in a sadistic game of life or death.
The film does what it says on the tin. When we opt to see a movie of this genre we expect to witness gruesome deaths and experience “on the edge of our seat” suspense. Accustomed to such franchises as Saw, little surprises contemporary audiences and so we seek that extra edge or twist, which is definitely delivered here during the climax of the movie. What is even more noteworthy, though, is the acting, which elevates the feature from potentially farcical to compellingly believable.
The cast is both convincing and captivating in their roles, inviting us to empathise with their characters as they endure the hellish nightmare they’re trapped in. Taylor Russell stands out in particular as she combines both vulnerability and strength. Logan Miller also offers a believable and naturalistic performance. Adding to the sense of realism is Marc Spicer’s fast-paced, crisp, clean cinematography, which again immediately invites us into this world and sustains our captivation. From the opening scene, the pace flows fast and we barely have a chance to come up for air.
With an intense opening teaser, the movie locks us into an unpredictable rollercoaster, whether we like it or not (much like the unfortunate characters concerned). From then on in we endure and ultimately enjoy the ride director Adam Robitel takes us on. This is cinema at its most fun. Yes, it could be gorier and the ending will certainly frustrate some, but for those simply seeking a thrill and some entertaining escapism, they will not be disappointed.
Escape Room is released nationwide on 1st February 2019.
Watch the trailer for Escape Room here: