Escape Room   review by Bobby Blakey

While I love all the classic Universal monsters and slasher icons of the horror genre, one of my all-time favorite franchise is SAW. I love every chapter and looked forward to seeing the new one every Halloween until the franchise came to an end, sort of. It created a genre of sorts and the next film looking to jump in on that type of film is Escape Room from Insidious: The Last Key director Adam Robitel. The film features a good young cast including Tyler Labine, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Nik Dodani and Jay Ellis, but does it offer up the fun twists and turns to keep the player engaged or will it fail to solve the puzzle and escape the room?

Escape Room follows six strangers who are given mysterious black boxes with tickets to an immersive escape room for a chance to win tons of money. Being locked in several rooms with extreme conditions, they discover the secrets behind the escape room and must fight to survive and to find a way out. I am always a bit leary with these kinds of films but I am happy to say that I had a great time with this one. I was worried that it might lose something with the PG-13 rating, but it didn’t really need the heavier rating to accomplish what they were doing successfully.

The story is pretty simple and I applaud Robitel for not trying to force a completion and explanation to every little thing at the end of this film. That is obviously smart as a filmmaker as it opens up the universe to more chapters, but also just allows the audience to keep guessing to what is really happening. Make no mistake this isn’t overly complex of offering big twists like I had hoped, but instead just keeps some mysteries alive to keep it all moving forward in a successful way. The real treat here is the clever nature of the puzzles to escape each room. Sure there are some over the top elements to each room, but that kind of made it all the better and to the films credit they kind of explain the levels to which they take to make it all work.

There aren’t any gory kills here and I was initially off put by the opening being a later moment in the film as that always annoys me, but here it makes so much more sense to what they are doing later with it. I loved this movie and hope they are able to keep revisiting this world as there are so many fun elements that they can go with and keep making it fresh every time. This is likely not going to be for everyone, but if you like films like SAW then give Escape Room a try. If nothing else it might make you question going to one of those real life escape rooms again.

In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including an alternate opening and ending, deleted scenes and featurettes that take you behind bringing this film to life. Enter the game and grab your copy of Escape Room available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Home Entertainment.

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