ESCAPE ROOM (15)
D: Adam Robitel
Sony/Columbia/Original Film (Neal H. Moritz & Ori Marmur)
USA 🇺🇸 2019
W: Bragi F. Schut & Maria Melnik
DP: Marc Spicer
Ed: Steven Mirkovich
Mus: Brian Tyler & John Carey
Taylor Russell (Zoey), Logan Miller (Ben), Jay Ellis (Jason), Deborah Ann Woll (Amanda), Tyler Labine (Mike), Nik Dodani (Danny)
A group of strangers are invited to participate in an Escape Room challenge which they initially believe to be fun and games, where the winner stands to win $10,000, but the intricate puzzle rooms swiftly turn into a matter of life or death where their greatest fears are manifested.
There's a pinch of character development before the thrills, with backstory unfolding as they make their way deeper into the deadly labyrinth, but it's fair to say that there's more focus on character in this movie than most modern horror films.
Limited by a lower age rating for the set pieces, they manage to be nail biting enough if you suspend your disbelief of logistics & science, which is quite easy to do due to the intricate production design.
The last third of the film does a disservice to all that preceded as it descends into nonsense, especially the final scene which feels as though it was tagged on by a studio who want them sweet sequel bucks. Still, I personally found it much more entertaining than I expected it to be.