Cinematic Releases: Escape Room (2019) Reviewed

When six differing personalities are locked inside a new dimension in terror, all hell breaks loose as a potential franchise is launched with the early year release of Escape Room. Playing with the new trend in interactive entertainment, Escape Room levels up, bringing the post-holiday movie going season a serious dose of adrenaline. 

After delivering one of 2014's most distressing horror features, The Taking of Deborah Logan, Adam Robitel moved on to bring us the fourth entry in the Insidious franchise. Now, he's back in creative form with an original project that takes the current trend of escape rooms and turns it on its side with a movie that plays mildly satire with the genre while also offering some hardcore thrills and shrills. Keeping horror within the PG-13 realm is a hard feat these days considering some of the lower quality fare we've been given. Luckily, Robitel and his superb cast hand deliver a super fun bit of escapist horror that definitely mixes themes from Hostel, The Running Man, and Saw into a tightly wound hour and forty minute popcorn flick. 

deborah ann woll
Gimme some of that true blood!

As that other movie about escaping traps is repeatedly mentioned in reviews, we can say this is never as brutal or gore ridden. People die, yes. But Escape Room is actually quite a bit more intelligent than the last few movies in that long running series. His physically daunting jaunt through several horrific realms strays away from the torturous aspects and never ever treads into making pin cushions of human flesh. Instead he uses his wit and desire for tension to make a slick feature film that pushes the limits of human endurance, both physical and mental. Even when it gets mildly silly in spots, you can be sure that Deborah Ann Woll and the other cast members are doing their damnedest to make this thing as believable as possible. 

By now we've all seen local escape rooms advertised. It's actually become quite the team outing in many parts of the country. The rooms used in this movie are all super creative and play to our inner fears. If you're scared of dying in flames, drowning in frigid waters, or just being closed off in a trippy space with nowhere to run, Escape Room will definitely pique your interest. Good horror films do just that. They play with our emotions while dragging us through terrorizing scenes that don't let up until the very end.

No dad! We won't clean our room!

This release was perfectly timed as it comes right at the tail end of the huge blockbuster holiday season. Instead of just passing this off as a copycat thriller, take a shot and see this one in the theater especially if you're a fan of what this director has done in the past. Seeing something that's evolved from an original idea instead of a sequel in someone else's series was a good way to go this time around. Escape Room actually sticks the landing by remaining edgy, a bit coy, and totally immersed in its somewhat insane premise. 

-Chris George