FILM UNFILTERED - If you like suspense, you’ll enjoy ‘Escape Room’

FILM UNFILTERED - If you like suspense, you’ll enjoy ‘Escape Room’

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If you’ve ever been to the Emerald Square Mall or Patriot Place you’ve likely seen the escape rooms that are supposed to challenge your mind.

You and your friends have to decipher clues to get out, and depending on your patience level, it’s either fun or altogether frustrating. Sometimes just watching the debating and bickering between players can be just as entertaining (if the venue has hidden cameras) for those viewing from outside.

Depending on how patient of a person you are, attempting to work with others to get out of one of these rooms might test your mettle. The level of uncomfortableness and panic these rooms generate has been translated into a feature length film, “Escape Room.”

The movie brings together six strangers who learn quickly they have been trapped inside an insidious and perverse game. The cast varies from people you’ll recognize to those that you won’t. Deborah Ann Woll, who plays Amanda, is probably the one you’ll remember from HBO’s “True Blood” or Netflix’s “Daredevil.” She is accompanied by Taylor Russell as Zoey, who was brilliantly excellent in the rebooted “Lost in Space” series playing older daughter, Judy Robinson. Tyler Labine who portrays Dr. Iggy on “New Amsterdam” plays Mike here.

As the movie progresses you clearly find yourself rooting for particular characters while others less so, even secretly rooting for their demise. Logan Miller plays Ben, seemingly the least likely to win the game and the one you question how he wound up here to begin with. Nik Dodani is Danny, a self-proclaimed escape room fanatic and Jay Ellis plays Jason, perhaps the one with the best survival skills.

The film throws some interesting and innovative scenarios at the ‘contestants’ starting with a room that literally turns into an oven, then a cold room and moving along to even stranger and more challenging setups. Along the way, there are casualties, and one by one they’re picked off. Eventually they all end up having to face down skeletons from their past in one particular room and it’s here you get most of their backstories. The players all actually share one commonality though none of them know it about each other until that point.

As the film progresses, into the third act the curtain is finally raised to reveal who is masterminding this vicious game and why. It’s not necessarily a new twist and the premise for why this game is being played is actually quite simple and dates back thousands of years.

“Escape Room” has some definitely tense, nail-biting sequences and keeps you wondering throughout who is going to make it through to the next room. I think one of the more surprising aspects of the movie was the order in which the players perished.

This movie is very reminiscent of “The Cabin in the Woods” from 2011. It’s almost fair to say that “Escape Room” might even be a homage to that film. But it also veers quite closely to the insane “The Belko Experiment” from 2016. Needless to say, if you liked either of those movies then you are going to be entertained in a horrific way by “Escape Room.” The film is directed by Adam Robitel who has a background in horror films as a writer.

The film is rated PG-13.

“Escape Room” brings together six strangers who have been trapped inside an insidious and perverse game.