Director: Adam Robitel
Writer/s: Bragi F. Schut, Maria Melnik (screenplay by)
Starring: Taylor Russell, Tyler Labine, Deborah Ann Woll, Logan Miller, Jay Ellis, Nik Dodani, and more.
I guess it truly is commonplace to release horror movies in the beginning of a new year, huh? Well, I guess I will just hit you all like a broken record. Once again, Oberrated is here to drop a horror film review in the month of January. Last year it was “Insidious: The Last Key”, before that it was “Split” and “Rings” (obviously we know which was the worst of those two, I’m hoping). And the year before that, “The Forest”. Good lord…The Forest… Anyway, you should get the trend here. It is 2019 and now I am on to the next flick which is Saw 73. I mean… “Escape Room”. Whatever, let’s get this over with.
“Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control, and must use their wits to survive.”
Listen, there is absolutely no avoiding the Saw comparisons here. “Escape Room” is “Saw” except PG-13, which means less blood and gore. The only major difference was the less grueling and gruesome puzzles which were substituted by, you guessed it, literal escape room type puzzles. On one end, sure, this formula obviously works. If it did not, we would not be on our eighth Saw film. On the other end, this film is blatant rip on the successful counterpart. However none of this matters, you know this. Why? Because of my favorite term: Hollywood Horror. “Escape Room” is another Hollywood Horror flick to bring in the young kiddies and teenagers. Although, maybe the producers and studio were not exactly the smartest of the bunch with the nine million dollar budget compared to counter studios who make cheap Hollywood Horror films to flip a profit. Ultimately, good try “Escape Room”. Better luck (not) next time.
Ignoring the blatant rip of style. As I viewed this film as a film, I found myself invested in the high intensity scenes “Escape Room” provided. Each room provided a solid test of knowledge and skill (except for that god forsaken seven letter word lock. If you do not figure that lock out within a second, I give up on you). With said knowledge and skill, the high stakes involved with each room had me tensed in my seat until the inevitable partial success of the survivors. For that, I give some credit for making me enjoy the thrill of the film.
Now now now, let us not get too carried away. While I enjoyed the tension of the film, we can not ignore the other fatal flaw of horror films: The dreaded decision making! Yep, this film is riddled with my favorite intelligent characters making genius decisions. And yes, I am dead staring right at you lighter-boy Ben (Logan Miller). I try desperately to forgive the writers for making characters so damn stupid in horror films but I am sorry, I am not that forgiving. And no, I am not actually sorry.
***Still spoilers, don’t forget***
Lastly, let me take a look at this absolutely dreadful ending. As if this film had so much not going for it as is, it decides to hit its audiences with a cliff-hanger NO ONE wants and a possible sequel NO ONE DEFINITELY wants. The survivors decide it is a brilliant idea to take it to their attackers and the attackers are the one-step-ahead villains ready to prep their plane with another puzzle-like escape room. Pardon me as I lock myself in a cage and lose the key.
As I said before, the high tension of the film was enough to entertain me at a minimal amount. Each puzzle challenges the survivors til the very end which creates quite the thriller of a film. The performances of all the survivors are actually pretty compelling and enjoyable to watch. However the praise stops there. Saw 73 falls way short of anything credible. 2019 starts off just as each year likes to start off, with an average to shitty horror flick.
- All actors were quite impressive.
- Special appreciation goes to Deborah Ann Woll and Jay Ellis.
- Jay Ellis plays quite the antihero.
- Seriously, f*&$ the ending.
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