By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

A form of amusement which has grown in popularity over the past few years is “The Escape Room.”  A group of people enters a facility where they are supposedly tapped and must use their wits, evade threats, and overcome challenges and obstacles to get out.  I suppose it was only a matter of time that Hollywood catch on and make a horror film based on this concept, obviously based on horror tropes. Well, the cycle has come full circle and the movie machine gas produced a movie based on this form of entertainment. Though often silly and outlandish, Escape Room the movie) actually delivers taut suspense, thrills and fun in spite if its shortcoming.

A diverse group of people have been invited to participate in a day at asn escape room.  As the members of ther group barely get to know one another in a supposed reception area, they come to realize that this very first room is the intial challenge they must face. Extreme heat, cold, and demons from their past come into play and they quickly discover that they have been forced into a very dangerous game. Selfishness and the will to survive also prove to be factors in a situation where the stakes are quite real.

Written by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik, and directed by Adam Robitel, Escape Room is a damn good time if one can excuse its outlandishness and over-the-top moments.  The movie definitely tests the bounds of disbelief, but one can’t help, but be impressed with Schut and Melnik’s inventive concepts for escape scenarios.  In addition, director Robitel does a great job of building the tension of these scenarios, even if they are so bonkers.  The cast is a mixture of decent actors who deliver varying degrees of performances.

Not everyone performs admirably, but the ensemble seems to gel were it really counts.  The film stars actors Taylor Russell, Logan Russell, Debora Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nil Dodani.  Not one particular actor really stands out for excellence, but most of them performs adequately with some inevitable missteps due to the content.

And perhaps it is also inevitable that such a movie has to be so ludicrous to be entertaining.  Some of the crazy moments do in fact work well, while others do induce some groans and cringes.  Nevertheless, for a goofy horror-thriller,  Escape Room makes for a fun time at the cinema.  It also seems inevitable and obligatory that this first movie should launch a new franchise, but only money and time will tell.




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