Humans love a good conundrum. Whether it’s the Sunday Times crossword or taking part in one of the myriad ‘escape rooms’ which have shot up around the world, there’s something compelling about being intellectually challenged. The enduring popularity of The Crystal Maze and Countdown demonstrate we’re keen voyeurs as well. On the big screen, the concept of a group of people tasked with solving puzzles to escape or die has proved successful, particularly with the SAW and Cube series of films. Adam Robitel’s Escape Room is one of the latest in what is a rather fascinating sub-genre.
Six strangers receive invitations to the Minos Escape Room Facility in Chicago with the incentive of winning $10,000. War vet Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll), financial trader Jason (Jay Ellis), Physics student Zoe (Taylor Russell), trucker Mike (Tyler Labine), stock filler Ben (Logan Miller) and escape room enthusiast Danny (Nik Dodani) must work together if they have any chance of success. However, the stakes are higher than they come have ever imagined.
Escape Room starts out extremely promisingly. The acting and script are better than you’d expect and the first couple of rooms are cleverly done, both in terms of the challenge and growing the chemistry between the group. Unfortunately, that is where it begins to go wrong. As the danger increases, the thought and logic behind the puzzles takes a back seat. By the end it feels rushed, ridiculous and incoherent. The last scene is an absolute travesty which tips the scales against it. It’s fun whilst it lasts, but Escape Room takes a decent premise and quickly runs out of ideas and originality.
Escape Room is available on digital now and released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Sony Pictures on June 10.