“Escape Room” is Hollywood’s latest cash grab

First movie of 2019 starts strong, but doesn’t stick the landing

Lucas Torborg
A&E Editor

“Escape room” is Hollywood’s latest attempt at taking a popular phenomenon and turning it into a cash grab. The escape room craze has gotten so big that you can find one in almost any moderately populated city, but does this justify making a movie based on the entertainment service, or is Hollywood simply running out of ideas?

“Escape Room” is one of the best movies of 2019, it is also one of the only two movies to be released in 2019 so far—so that is really not saying much. The month of January is notoriously nicknamed dump month since most of the movies that are released are critically panned besides for a few hidden gems.

While Walking into “Escape Room” my expectations were already a little low. However, despite not being a necessarily good movie it is wildly entertaining with a strong premise, somewhat interesting characters, and an amazing set,– that is until the last 30 minutes.

The film is not completely original as it is in the same vain as movies such as “Saw” and “Cube”, movies that consist of strangers being trapped in a room solving clues in order to escape. “Escape room” often times feels like a PG-13 version of “Cube” and “Saw” which were known for their immense amounts of blood-shed and gore which ultimately drew in the audience. However, “Escape room” focuses on the actual rooms featuring amazing set designs to bring in the audience.

The plot consists of six strangers all from different walks of life with traumatic pasts. Each character is sent a puzzle box in the mail by either a family member or a close aquaintance. Solving the box releases an invite to an ominous building hosting its own escape room. Those who solve all six rooms will be rewarded 10,000 dollars.

Obviously, the escape room is much more real than the contestants thought and one wrong answer and or misstep is deadly. The six strangers must survive each room some of which include a room that is a giant oven and another room that is upside down with each quarter of the floor falling every minute.

The six contestants must work together to survive while also using hints from their past to escape the rooms and to discover why they were chosen in the first place.

“Escape Room” is the perfect movie to watch if you have time to kill. The acting is ok, the plot is nothing new, but it has enough mystery and a decent script to keep the audience on the edge of their seat. What “Escape Room” does best is create characters with interesting backstories and questionable motives making it difficult to know who to take sides with.

Nearly every positive attribute of this movie is wasted by the end. It is obvious that the writers never had an ending in mind for the film, which really makes the movie feel more like a cash grab. The extremely rushed ending creates a slew of plot holes and lacked not only in creativity, but also production.

Overall, “Escape Room” is worth seeing and would have been a great guilty pleasure movie if it wasn’t for its dismal ending.

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