‘Escape Room’ Review: Six People, One High-Concept Horror Movie, No Exit

Jay Ellis, Taylor Russell and Logan Miller star in ESCAPE ROOM.

The premise is simple: A group of people who do not know each other get a mysterious box from the email. In this elaborate present — believe that the Hellraiser block, only a little bit more benign — is a invitation to get a free session for an exclusive Chicago escape area.

Better save that mind power, individuals, since the penthouse waiting space in which you are discussing potential reasons for this arbitrary shindig whilst idly flipping through publications? It is a part of this sport! And that ceiling grate and these columns did only become makeshift oven leftovers! Puzzle clues are seen and sussed out, last-minute exits are created before this ragtag group of gamers eventually become human BBQ and security is temporarily attained.

Like Ouija boards and entertainment parks, the recently popular last time of being locked into a personalized room together along with your buddies and needing to go full-tilt Hercule Poirot to find your way out is ripe to your horrorsploitation racket. (After some filmmaker figures out how to put an escape area within an amusement park full of Ouija boards, then they will sprain their wrists out of counting piles of cash.) And while using your wits and smarts is a fundamental part of beating the clock using those excursions, Escape Space is pure No-Brainer Scary Moviemaking 101: capture several photogenic celebrities, find creative approaches to them off push a few phobic buttons, leave things open for a franchise and remain on-brand. They understand how to milk a single set piece for chills and thrills — particularly if it involves, say, an upside down pool area where the floor planks maintain falling out to show a 10-story free-fall to the abyss.

Yes, there’s indeed a link between all these apparently disparate people, one besides the fact that they live in a world where nobody has ever seen some of those Saw films. After this routine is shown and the movie gets more of a stuck-on-simmer conspiracy potboiler, the yields start exponentially decreasing. The digs at multinational company manipulation and course disparity — the filthy rich play a part in those wicked shenanigans, but that is America; do not they always? — feel a bit called in. You will see much better terror films this past year. You will see worse films this January. You might even see more craven cash-ins on soda fads during the subsequent 12 months. (Fingers crossed that 2019 is your year we eventually receive the Great Cinnamon Eating or Ice-Bucket Challenge Thriller!) The very best thing you can say about Escape Space is that for many of it, you are not urgently looking for the exit sign.