I didn't have much of a desire to see ESCAPE ROOM, throwing it my imagined bin of look-alike B horror films that I might get to someday. But at least for its first half, it's FAR more than that.
The film's set up is brisk and to the point. We meet six people from seemingly disconnected lives that are all mysteriously invited to the latest, greatest Escape Room experience.
Taylor Russell (Lost in Space) is Zoey, a brainy introvert more interested in the latest math puzzle than human interaction.
Logan Miller (Being Frank) is an alcoholic with a questionable future. Jay Ellis (Insecure) has screen presence to spare as a wealthy young stockbroker focused on his next paycheck.
Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) is comic relief as the oldest of the group and Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) is a former military operative carrying wounds of a recent conflict.
The six are lumped into the lobby of the Escape Room and the game starts almost immediately. The movie flies forward in real time, putting us through the same time constraints as the six as the game soon reveals itself to be FAR more than weekend fun.
The set design of each progressive room is excellent and there are a ton of suspenseful, gory and very inventive casualties.
But about 2/3 of the way through, its as if the filmmakers run out of good ideas. What could have been a great movie goes completely off the rails, abandoning the actors and the audience with a stupid, eye rolling conclusion.
One plot hole in a shrinking room is so glaring, you're left shaking your head, especially since the movie has so little sense it makes you sit through the flaw twice.
Promising start, hell of a first half.
But alas, ESCAPE ROOM crawls out at the end with a C.
What a waste of a fun start.