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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Escape Room (2017) - Lost in the Puzzle

Rating: ★★☆☆☆(2/5 Stars)

Released 06-09-2017

Watched 05-05-2024

Reviewed 05-10-2024

Watched on Peacock

"It's all part of the game."

"Escape Room," a 2017 thriller directed by Will Wernick, attempts to capitalize on the escape room craze but ultimately leaves much to be desired. The film opens with an intriguing premise—a mysterious invitation to an exclusive escape room challenge—but it quickly descends into a series of illogical events and underdeveloped character arcs.

One of the most perplexing choices is the inexplicable nudity of one character throughout the film, which seems more like a bizarre attempt to shock viewers rather than a meaningful part of the storyline. This choice feels gratuitous and adds nothing to the plot or character development, serving only as a distraction from the already thin story.v

The narrative itself is shaky. The origin of the escape room invitation—a mysterious box that appears out of nowhere—is never satisfactorily explained, leaving a gaping hole in the plot. This lack of explanation for crucial elements of the story makes the film feel unfinished and the viewer's investment in the unfolding drama minimal.

Character development is almost non-existent. The characters are introduced swiftly and superficially, with little backstory or motivation explored. This makes it challenging for the audience to care about their fates or root for their success. As a result, the stakes feel low, and the tension that should drive a movie like this is noticeably absent.

The ending of "Escape Room" is particularly disappointing. It aims to be open-ended and thought-provoking but instead comes off as unfinished and unsatisfying. Viewers are left hanging with more questions than answers, making the viewing experience feel incomplete.

While there are certainly better escape room movies out there, "Escape Room" struggles to stand out in a genre that is built on suspense and clever storytelling. It's a forgettable entry that might serve as a casual watch for die-hard fans of the genre, but it won't hold up to any scrutiny or leave a lasting impression.

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