Sunday, November 13, 2022

REVIEW: Escape Room (live action movie)

Escape Room is a 2019 psychological horror movie. I bought my copy new.


Six people receive puzzle boxes that they think were sent to them by people close to them. Inside the boxes are invitations to a very special escape room experience. 

Jason is a cool-headed stock trader. Danny is an escape room enthusiast. Mike is a truck driver. Amanda is an Iraq War veteran with PTSD. Ben is a stockboy at a small grocery store. Zoey is a physics student struggling with anxiety. They're all very different people with a wide range of puzzle-solving experience, and they soon discover that they'll have to work together if they want to make it through the various rooms, each of which is designed to dig into a part of themselves they might have preferred to keep buried.

The various rooms were ridiculously elaborate to a not-very-believable degree, and I had trouble believing that this many escape room newbies would somehow get the hang of these very high stakes puzzles so quickly. This was not a setup that gave them much room for error. Still, the result was lots of fun to watch.

My favorite characters were probably Zoey and Amanda, who both seemed like decent people and who probably would have made for a good puzzle-solving team. The sets were also really great. The billiards room would have been fun to explore, and I loved the deadly details in the Winter room.

For a movie that's all about characters solving puzzles, I suppose it's a bit ironic that it's the sort of thing where the audience is better off not thinking. Just accept that these ridiculously complex and expensive escape rooms were somehow created - like Squid Game with a lower but more elaborately arranged body count.

All in all, this was slick and fun, despite its issues. I also appreciated that there was no gore and only a little blood - the high level of tension was more than enough for me.


A "making of" featurette about the various rooms, deleted and extended scenes, and more that I've forgotten. There was a lengthy scene in which a sports team attempted the very first room and failed miserably, which underscored just how lucky the movie's group was that they didn't accidentally trap themselves.

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