Escape Room: These are puzzle rooms which I’ve seen at games expos but not yet partaken. However, I get the jist of them. You’re locked in a room and must solve a series of puzzles within the hour or you’ll never escape… well, in those, you’ll be evicted because they have other paying customers waiting to play it.
In this case, a young man drops through the ceiling and realises he has to fathom out an unfathomable puzzle before the walls will stop closing in on him. And from that moment, I soon got the feeling that this is one of those low-budget movies which will do incredibly well and spawn endless sequels, rather like the Final Destination franchise.
In this 15-certificate horror movie, not all of the participants will survive, making it a bit Jigsaw-like, and but a bit like the mostly decent The Cabin In The Woods, there’s initially bits of backstory to pad time out, showing a number of individuals struggling to open their mysterious boxes – which has clearly been inspired to a degree by the Hellraiser box – until we get to the meat of the film where the different personalities come together to compete, having been promised a $10,000 cash prize.
Of surprise to absolutely no-one, as they all sit in the reception room, waiting to be called, they soon twig that they are already IN the escape room, and have to get out.
This film works well because the rooms can be made to look like a film set, whilst BEING a film set, since most films have to do their level best NOT to look like a film set. Plus, at just 100 minutes, and with a few rooms to go through, the pace is brisk and so it’s not a film that overstays its welcome.
Escape Room won’t win any Oscars, but it’s also a fun experience with a few heart-in-mouth moments, and the engaging direction also adds to the excitement, as you have no idea who’ll bite the bullet next.
If they maintain the entertainment, I’ll look forward to a sequel, and it’s surely in development given that the budget for this was $9m, and it took $156m at the worldwide box office. To that end, the film already points you in that direction, so I’ll look forward to Escape Room 2.
Also if you go to Minos Escape Rooms.com, you can actually try your own 90-second quiz, as you can see me doing above.
As you’d expect for a modern film, it looks superb with no issues, and given the type of film it is, there’s plenty of complementary sound effects all over the shop.
The extras are as follows:
- Game Sets and Match (4:55): A fairly straight-forward making-of which mixes in clips with cast and crew soundbites. Naturally, if you watched this first, you’d spoil everything. On the downside, they could’ve gone into so much detail about the sets, but just chose for one that’s way too brief.
- The Lone Survivors (4:19): More of the same.
- Will You Ever? (1:58): …go into an escape room? More chat from the cast, so like everything above, it’s all the type of extra which TV channels would just slot into entertainment news bits.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (19:02): 8 of them, including an alternate opening and ending. The opening is interesting, but too similar to what we’ve seen in the film, so didn’t need to be included. The rest are all worth a watch, even though the only one I would put back in is the penultimate one, which is an extended version of a scene towards the end.
- Previews: For the films Searching and… oh, just one preview, then.
- Audio descriptive track: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
The menu is a static shot of the cast with a piece of the film’s score in the background. There are 16 chapters, and subtitles in 26 languages, all listed further down below.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Released: June 10th 2019
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), 5.1: Czech, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Ukranian
Subtitles: English SDH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish, Turkish, Ukranian
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Adam Robitel
Producers: Ori Marmur, Neal H Moritz
Screenplay: Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik
Music: John Carey, Brian Tyler
Zoey Davis: Taylor Russell
Ben Miller: Logan Miller
Jason Walker: Jay Ellis
Mike Nolan: Tyler Labine
Amanda Harper: Deborah Ann Woll
Danny Khan: Nik Dodani
Games Master WooTan Yu: Yorick van Wageningen
College Professor: Cornelius Geaney Jr
Charlie – Jason’s Assistant: Russell Crous
Gary – Ben’s Boss: Bart Fouche
Allison – Zoey’s Roommate: Jessica Sutton
Hazmat One: Paul Hampshire
Minos Security Guard / Hazmat Two: Vere Tindale
Detective Li: Kenneth Fok
Nurse: Caely Jo Levy
Rosa: Jamie-Lee Money
Business Passenger: Jeremy Jess Boado
2nd Flight Attendant: Inge Beckmann
Pilot: Carl Coetzee
Pilot: Katheryn Griffiths
Minos Technician #1: Gary Green
Minos Technician #2: Raven Swart
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.