REVIEW: Movie turns fun activity into thriller

The movie “Escape Room” took a fun activity with friends and family and turned it into a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

“Escape Room” follows six people who received an invitation to participate in an escape room for a prize of $10,000. What they were not aware of was the fact that the escape room they were going to enter was a competition that could cost them their lives.

The movie started with a man in an escape room who looked beat up and sweaty, trying to solve clues in the room. The room he was in suddenly started to compress and began crushing everything in its path, including him. The screen then cuts just as the man is about to get crushed to death.

Generally speaking, I’m not the biggest fan of horror movies or thrillers, but this movie wasn’t as bad (horror wise) as I thought. Since it was rated PG-13, I knew it wouldn’t have scenes of someone’s limb coming off or blood spewing everywhere. In terms of thrill, it did a great job of keeping me engaged and genuinely worried for the players in each room.

The rooms got harder and harder, leaving me wondering how they could get any worse. In each room, I felt like I was in there with the people. I found myself trying to predict the ending, but couldn’t even fathom what would come next.

I think the cast is what made it very realistic. There was a wide range of backgrounds in the characters, and it was interesting how each of them handled the stress and found clues. There was Zoey, a college student; Ben, a convenience store worker; Jason, a businessman; Mike, an old miner; Amanda, a veteran; and Danny, an escape room fanatic. It resembled a true escape room if the participants were chosen at random.

Each character had a back story that was revealed slowly through flashbacks of their lives while in the rooms. The longer the movie went on, the more information was shown about the participants. I enjoyed this method of getting to know the characters because it’s exactly how I would get to know someone if I were in an escape room with them. With each task that they completed or clue they found, there was a reason they knew about it.

The only complaint I had about the movie was the last 15 minutes. I felt like the writers were trying too hard to set up a sequel, so they butchered the ending. There were plenty of ways they could have ended the movie that still would have set up for a sequel, but the way they chose felt forced and very unnatural.

The ending also gave away a possibility of creating a second movie. Just like this movie started, the sequel could have had a teaser scene and then go into  the movie.

I think if there were more of a natural cliffhanger, I would have given this movie a 10/10.

Overall, this movie was a good thriller for people of any age to enjoy and thoroughly kept my hands sweaty for the whole hour and a half. I hope there is a second movie because I want to see how the writers continue the story.

Although it was a good movie and I like escape rooms, I will probably never do one again.

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