There is something comforting in the fact that any new popular phenomenon will eventually become the premise of a horror movie. For example, escape rooms are large recently. You and a few friends lock yourself in a room and have to solve puzzles to get out of it; if you don’t do it in time, you will “die” (i.e. zombies will get you, or whatever the theme of the game is). The film version of this, simply called the “Escape Room”, takes hold of the obvious idea of “What if this game turned out to be real?”?”and turns it into a dietary version of the franchise “Saw”: PG-13, modestly inventive, funny and not macabre, with some characters even sympathetic.
It is practically self-written (although it was written by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik), with the only variation of what one expects is that it is a group of six strangers, not friends. Our heroine is Zoey (Taylor Russell), a shy but brilliant student with a head for puzzles, who accepted the anonymous invitation because her teacher challenged her to do something outside her comfort zone. Before arriving at the escape room, we also meet Ben (Logan Miller), a grocer who longs for more in life, and Jason (Jay Ellis), an arrogant stockbroker; once on site, we meet the other three: Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll), the scarred Iraqi veterinarian, Mike (Tyler Labine) and Danny (Nik Dodani), a video game enthusiast who has made a million escape rooms and is super excited about this one. (Viewers who make survival predictions, depending on who the movie seems to think is important, will probably be right.)
This particular game involves several connected pieces that are becoming more and more deadly. One becomes smaller, like the “Star Wars” garbage compactor; one is an oven; the other is upside down; etc. None of the players were chosen by chance (their backstories turn out to be relevant), and we pretty quickly realize that the details of the parts are not random either.
The variety of venues enables visual creativity – the space on the head is particularly cool-and inspires different answers among the participants. Jason the Hotshot money guy can’t believe you’re in real peril (where is the profit margin actually finishing your customers?), while Zoey calmly rushes around the collection of clues and evidence. Danny thinks that all this is great and not at all suspicious: “I feel like I’m playing the funniest game in the world with the meanest people in the world.”
Well, Danny is wrong, as everyone finds out soon enough. But director Adam Robitel (“Insidious: the Last Key”) does not torment anyone — there are no scripts here” Saw your arm to save your life ” — and he gives the story a cheerful, cheerful atmosphere, despite its gloomy premise. There is humor in some of the characters’ interactions and a breathless tension in the devilish devices they face. As with almost all films about a group of strangers brought together by a secret being, the possible explanation for all this is disappointing, and there were at least two moments when I thought the film was finished before it was really finished. But Zoey is a brave girl who deserves to be rooted, supported by attractive or terrible characters. It is noteworthy that although this is a film about people who were finished one by one, there were only one or two characters that I was looking forward to seeing die. That alone separates him from horror films, which are completely populated by foolishs and foolishs.