Escape Room is a 2019 American psychological horror mystery film directed by Adam Robitel and written by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik. The film stars Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, Nik Dodani and Yorick van Wageningen, and follows a group of people who are sent to navigate a series of escape rooms, only to discover that their fates are tied to whether or not they can beat them in time.
At the start of the film, viewers are given a short background on some of the players. Viewers learn that Zoey is a shy physics student who is given a task to do something exciting over Thanksgiving weekend by her Physics professor. Jason is a successful and wealthy daytrader. Ben is a stockboy who hopes to be promoted to customer service to earn more money to support his mom. Danny is a video game enthusiast who loves escape rooms and has successfully escaped many escape rooms. Zoey, Ben, Jason, Amanda, Mike and Danny all receive mysterious boxes, each with a different greeting that describes/praises them. All of them think the boxes come from someone close to them. Zoey is convinced by her roommate that the box is from her Physics professor. Ben is convinced his boss left the box for him. Jason is convinced his boss Mr. Ackerman gave him the box as the gift he mentioned earlier in a phone call.
As all the players try to unlock their respective puzzle boxes, they find invitations to the Minos Escape Room Facility for a chance to win $10,000 inside the boxes. At the building they are asked to surrender their phones and are led to a big room where a voice behind a screen Danny manages to sneak a hidden second phone into the escape room with him, telling Amanda that it helps kill the boredom in the waiting room. After all the players are in the waiting room, a woman’s voice tells them that the Game Master will arrive shortly over the intercom. The players start to make some small talk, and Danny tells the other players the good reviews that were left on this escape room. Ben, having a smoking habit, tries to get out of the room to smoke but realizes the door handle is fake. The players discover they are locked inside and the waiting room is part of the escape room.
They have to escape the burning waiting room, just in time through a hidden crawl space, before the room burns up. They then enter what looks like a winter cabin and find only one jacket between them through clues and exit to a large room that resembles a winter landscape. Danny falls through the ice and is the first to die and the rest wait to get a key out of a block of ice and then enter an upside down billiards bar, where they are transported upwards. They have to unlock a safe to get a billiards ball that can open the next door and using clues that are relayed to Amanda, she is able to get the ball out and hands it to the others but dies as she falls from a piece of the floor giving away. The next room is set up as a hospital ward and the room will be filled with poisonous gas when the timer runs out. They have to lower someone’s heart rate while strapped onto an EKG to open the crawl space to the next room and Mike dies while trying this. Zoey breaks all the cameras in the room but succumbs to the gas so only Jason & Ben manage to escape to the next room.
The next room is covered in optical illusions and strobe lights, they are drugged with a hallucinogen that causes them to believe they are melting. The room also starts to physically spin and they have to get the injectial vial with the antidote in it for only person. Jason & Ben fight for it and Jason breaks Ben’s leg. Ben eventually pushes Jason into the desk and kills Jason. Ben injects himself with the antidote and falls through the hatch into an elaborate study room. While this is happening the hospital room) armed Minos employees enter in hazmat gear, listing the number of dead people and trying to dispose of them in 20 minutes. While the employees are distracted by the oxygen mask hanging from the ceiling that Zoey was trying to reach, Zoey surprisingly gets up and incapacitates them with an IV stand. Zoey, having miraculously survived from the poisonous gas in the room, seizes a gun, and escapes into a maintenance area. Ben manages to solve the next clue in the study room before he is crushed to death and barely manages to escape and finds himself in The control room which is the last room in the series.
The pictures of all the other players are marked by (X) to symbolize their elimination. He is met by the Game Master, who has controlled the game as designed by the Puzzle Maker. The true nature of the contest is that players with a shared experience – college athletes, savants, lone survivors, celebrities, etc. – are lured into the game, and wealthy viewers bet on the survivors in savage amusement. The Game Master tries to kill Ben by strangling him as Ben is distracted by lighting a cigarette, but Zoey arrives and they kill him. Zoey takes Ben to a hospital and arrives back at the building later in the day with the cops but all evidence at the facility has disappeared. The detective thinks that all that Zoey had said was an illusion as Ben had 3 drugs in him. They dismiss their experiences are illusions caused by drugs and drive off. 6 months later a recovered Ben and Zoey meet Zoey shows Ben newspaper articles that passed the other players’ deaths as everyday accidents.
Reports in papers show that Mike died of a heart attack in a bathroom in Union Station, Amanda falls and dies in a climbing accident, Jason was thrown off his bike on highway I-64 with DMT found in his system, and Danny drowns in Lake Michigan. Zoey tells Ben that there would have been articles to cover up their deaths too if they died. Zoey has tracked Minos to a building in Manhattan and the two decided to go there However, Minos and the mysterious Puzzle Maker are already preparing to make their flight a new deadly game with only a 4% chance of survival. Meaning they have more power, wealth and protection that anyone suspects.
Escape Room was released in the United States on January 4, 2019, by Sony Pictures Entertainment, and was a box office success, grossing over $155 million worldwide. The cast and acting is good and I was quite interested and entertained throughout. The sequel is expected to be out in the early part of 2020. I give this movie a solid 8 outta 10!