Escape rooms are all the rage nowadays, presenting an opportunity for stress relief and exercising the mind. The newly-released Columbia Pictures film Escape Room, however, shows us a more sinister and fatal version.
Directed by Adam Robitel, Escape Room is the third highest grossing film of 2019. Produced on a $9 million budget, it has fetched $64.4 million at the box office thus far. The film follows genius physics student Zoey Davis (by Taylor Russell), grocery store stock boy Ben Miller (Logan Miller), corporate executive Jason Walker (Jay Ellis), veteran Amanda Harper (Deborah Ann Woll), truck driver Mike Nolan (Tyler Labine), and escape room lover Danny Khan (Nik Dodani).
All receive a puzzle box and, after solving the puzzle, a clue invites them to a Chicago office building to participate in a contest. Those who successfully escape the Minos Escape Room are to be rewarded with a prize of $10,000. Shortly after arriving, Ben attempts to exit the waiting room and the door handle breaks off. Trapped inside, the group soon discovers they are indeed in the escape room. What follows is a litany of assorted chaos and mayhem, with the threat of death looming over if they fail to solve the puzzles. In all, there are six rooms, each more crazy than the previous.
Reminiscent of the Saw films, Escape Room is simply delightful. I was consistently entertained throughout. There was little character development, which really could have added some depth to the story. Overall, though, the puzzles were very creative and helped make up for the lack of emotional connection to individual characters. I also loved how they set things up for a sequel — I feel like there is still a lot in this story to be told and am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment.
I give Escape Room 4 stars.