The popularity of ‘Escape Room’ events would eventually see the horror genre try & cash in on that interest. Taking the idea of a group of friends stuck in a room with a time limit working together to solve puzzles & escape then throwing in a deadly element.
Kind of like Saw, right?
There’s nothing original about Escape Room. A group of friends decide to play a popular escape room but end up trapped inside with a demonically possessed killer. As the clock counts down the chain holding him back gets longer & longer. So when the timer hits zero he will be able to reach them.
There are your tense moments. Or at least they would be if the characters in peril had any kind of actual development. Just enough so you actually cared about them. A group where the only thing you’ll remember is the constant arguing over horror movies. Annoying & bland.
So you might be wondering who runs the escape room? Surely they would stop the game as soon as the first person died right? Well, no because the man in charge, Brice (played by Skeet Ulrich) loses his camera feed & doesn’t want to get a bad review so won’t interrupt the game.
Even though he has no idea what is happening inside. It’s simple, you stop the game. Tell them what happened & give them another go for free once you’ve got it fixed. It’s not like this particular game seems to be that immersive & one character has no actual interest in taking part.
On the flip side of that though it’s not like you’d expect a possessed killer to start stabbing the players either!
The details regarding the possession are sketchy at best. The movie opens in a desert as a duo of Arab men bury a box that is clearly pretty evil. What’s inside? Who knows. The box is buried & the two men die.
This box ends up in the hands of Brice who picks it up in antique shop & figures it will look great in his escape room. The box is opened accidentally by one of the players which is what causes the possession.
There’s some added detail at the end of the movie as we see the ‘spirit’ leave & enter the body of someone else but it’s still pretty vague.
The acting from most is solid enough. Nothing exactly memorable but nothing that offends either. The characters are so poorly written that it’s not like the actors had much to work with anyway.
There is little violence or gore mainly because the movie tries to go with the tension that should be felt by this possessed killer getting closer & closer to the cast. His tool of choice is a pair of scissors & while each stab is visceral & nasty looking it just isn’t anything special.
A throwaway horror. One that is neither bad nor good. It sits in the middle & is very forgettable. It’s not scary, it’s not interesting & it’s not gory. A little more time spent developing the characters & giving a bit more detail about the demon & it would have been much better.