Escape Room Movie Review

The official poster for Escape Room (2019).

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The official poster for Escape Room (2019).

Bailey Cassada, Author/Co-Editor

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“Escape Room” is a new thrilling movie about six strangers who get invited to participate in an escape room. But what begins as innocent puzzles soon turns into a disaster, putting all of their lives in danger. It is directed by Adam Robitel and starring Taylor Russell (Zoey), Logan Miller (Ben), Jay Ellis (Jason), Tyler Labine (Mike), Deborah Ann Woll (Amanda) and Nik Dodani (Danny). Although the genre is claimed to be a drama/mystery, I believe it is also a horror/thriller.

I saw the movie on Sunday, January 20 at the Chambersburg mall, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not a fan of scary movies, but there something about this movie that was very intriguing. There is almost non-stop action throughout the entire movie and the puzzles were extremely clever.

Even though it was only rated 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, I think it deserves a higher percentage. Many critics are quick to compare it to other horror movies such as “Saw” and “Cube”. I have not seen either of these films, so that may be a reason I enjoyed it so much. It is also PG-13, so it was apparent that it would not be as gruesome or violent as the other classic horror movies.

What made the movie rather creepy was the fact that the company sponsoring the escape room somehow knew everything about all of the participants. The movie left my head spinning until the end and I just had to learn about the hidden details and meaning behind the puzzles.

 

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD

 

 

It was revealed in the movie that the clues in the rooms were connected to each participant’s past in some way. All of them were sole survivors of a traumatic experience, so these references were used to psychologically affect the members in each room.

  1. Fire Room- Amanda is a military veteran who survived an explosion while on active duty, hence the burn marks on her neck and back. She also has PTSD which is apparent as she crawls through the vent to the next room. I also noticed in this room that Zoey finds a coffee mug with an airplane logo, which refers to an airplane crash that killed her entire family.
  2. Cabin- The next room is a small cabin which relates to the character Ben. The group notices a sign saying “You’ll go down in history”, assuming it would be some historical figure as the pass code. Ben instantly knew that the code was “Rudolph” due to antlers found on the wall. He begins the have a flashback about his drunk driving incident, which killed everyone in the car except him, who was behind the wheel. He recalls them singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” seconds before the car crashed.
  3. Snow/Ice Room- Jason was on a boating trip with a friend when they became stranded in the ocean. With only one jacket between the two of them, Jason drowns his friend in order to retrieve the jacket and stay warm. In the cold, snowy room, the exact red coat he used can be found as part of the puzzle.
  4. Hospital- When Danny was younger, he was the only survivor of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Even though he did not make it this far in the game, this proves evidently that the Escape Room somehow knew about that incident. All of the remaining participants notice that all of the hospital beds are exactly the same as the beds they were in after their own traumatic events. While Jason and Ben move to the next room, Zoey stays behind and breaks all of the security cameras, eventually finding an oxygen mask similar to those used on airplanes. Her mindset seemed absurd at first, especially since the room was being filled with poisonous gas, but her sharp mind saved her life.
  5. Crushing Room- Mike was a coal miner who survived a tunnel collapsing which killed many workers including his brother. I believe that this room symbolizes this event in his life because the room slowly becomes smaller, crushing everything in its path.

 

Works Cited:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5886046/