“Escape Room” (2019)

This is PG-13 horror junk food; nothing more, nothing less. It’s an enjoyable enough diversion that will satisfy those just looking for a brainless waste of time, just so long as you don’t think about it too much. It has just enough creativity in it that you might overlook most of its flaws, but it still won’t leave a lasting impact. While some of the clues and hints are painfully obvious, there are some genuinely clever instances of puzzle solving and ingenuity. It does manage to wring out some suspense, as well as having passably written characters (by brainless horror film standards). The film’s atmosphere is also great, and it’s clear that director Adam Robitel (who also directed the solid Insidious: The Last Key) has an understanding of how to handle good atmosphere in horror. The film’s ending sucks (not “ruin the whole movie” bad, but definitely “leaves you scratching your head” bad). And one of the supporting characters is completely insufferable. But still, the film is entertaining and enjoyable enough, has a great premise, and capitalizes on it a little bit. Honestly, maybe it’s fitting that this film was inspired by Saw, because based on its massive box office return, along with the fact that they’re planning an Escape Room sequel to be released as soon as next year, we could very well be looking at the next horror franchise zombie.

Rating: 3/5

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