Escape Room -film

Escape Room is a 2019 psychological horror film directed by Adam Robitel and written by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik. The film stars Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani, and follows a group of people who are sent to navigate a series of escape rooms, only to discover that their fates are tied to whether or not they can beat them in time. Development of the film began in August 2017, then under the title The Maze, and the casting process commenced. Filming took place in South Africa in late 2017 through January 2018.

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Escape Room
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Robitel
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Bragi F. Schut
  • Maria Melnik
Story byBragi F. Schut
Starring
Music by
CinematographyMarc Spicer
Edited bySteve Mirkovich
Production
company
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • January 4, 2019 (2019-01-04) (United States)
Running time
100 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Canada
LanguageEnglish
Budget$9 million[2]
Box office$148.7 million[2][3]

Escape Room is a 2019 psychological horror film[4] directed by Adam Robitel and written by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik. The film stars Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani, and follows a group of people who are sent to navigate a series of escape rooms, only to discover that their fates are tied to whether or not they can beat them in time.

Development of the film began in August 2017, then under the title The Maze, and the casting process commenced. Filming took place in South Africa in late 2017 through January 2018.

Escape Room was released in the United States on January 4, 2019, by Sony Pictures Entertainment, and was a box office success, grossing over $148 million worldwide. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the atmosphere and cast, but criticized the familiar plot and its failure to take full advantage of its premise. A sequel is planned for release on April 17, 2020.

Plot

In Chicago, Illinois, physics student Zoey, stockboy Ben, daytrader Jason, war veteran Amanda, trucker Mike, and escape room enthusiast Danny receive invitations to the Minos Escape Room Facility for a chance to win $10,000. They gather in the facility’s waiting room and are locked inside, revealing the game has already begun. Searching for clues, they inadvertently activate heating traps; as the heat intensifies, Zoey manages to unlock a vent. As the players make their way through, Amanda has a flashback of crawling through the aftermath of an IED attack in Iraq. Everyone escapes as the room is engulfed in flames.

They find themselves in a winter cabin, with the door locked by a seven-letter combination. The room’s clues trigger Ben to have a flashback of driving drunk with friends, singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" before crashing the car. He suggests "Rudolph," which unlocks the door, and the group escapes into a room resembling a frozen lake. They find the locked exit and a single red coat, and use a fishing pole and magnet to retrieve a key encased in an ice block. Danny falls through the ice and drowns, and the remaining players are forced to melt the ice block with their body heat to free the key. Jason has a flashback of freezing beside someone in a red coat; the players unlock the exit as the ice explodes.

The five players enter an upside-down billiards bar, and the song “Downtown” begins to play on repeat. In a version of musical chairs, whenever the song stops, a section of floor falls away to a deadly drop. They find a locked safe, and identify a missing 8 ball as the key to the room. Zoey has a flashback of the aftermath of a plane crash, and realizes the puzzle’s clues are upside down. Amanda retrieves the eight ball from the safe, but drops it. Sacrificing herself, she throws the ball to Jason and plummets to her death.

The four remaining players enter a hospital ward with six beds, and discover all the players were sole survivors: Zoey survived a plane crash; Jason, a boating accident with his roommate; Ben, the car crash; Mike, a mining cave-in; Danny, carbon monoxide poisoning; and Amanda, the IED blast. They realize the entire game has been designed around details of their lives, and deduce that the EKG machine will unlock the room. Jason inadvertently kills Mike with a defibrillator. As the room fills with gas, Jason hooks himself up to the EKG and lets the gas lower his heartrate, opening a passageway. Jason and Ben escape, but Zoey refuses to continue and collapses from the gas.

Entering a psychedelic room, Ben confronts Jason over his selfish disregard for the others, and Jason reveals that he survived the boating accident by killing his roommate for his coat. They open a hatch in the floor but are drugged with a hallucinogen, and struggle against the psychotropic effects. Ben finds the antidote and, in a struggle for the single dose, kills Jason. Ben injects himself and falls through the hatch into an elaborate study. As the walls close in, he solves the puzzle and narrowly avoids being crushed.

Armed Minos employees enter the hospital room in hazmat gear. Zoey, having survived, incapacitates them and seizes a gun.

Ben is met by the Game Master, who has controlled the game as designed by the Puzzle Maker and explains the true nature of the contest: players are united by a shared experience—college athletes, savants, lone survivors, etc.—and viewers bet on the outcome. The Game Master tries to kill Ben to preserve the game’s secrets, but Zoey arrives; together, she and Ben manage to kill the Game Master. As Ben recovers, Zoey tries to explain events to the police, but all evidence at the facility has disappeared.

Six months later, Zoey shows Ben that the deaths of the other players have been staged as everyday accidents, and he agrees to join her on a flight to New York City to confront the Minos company. However, Minos and the mysterious Puzzle Maker are already preparing to make the flight a new deadly game.

Cast

Production

On August 9, 2017, it was announced that the film, then titled The Maze, had commenced casting.[5] It was set to shoot in South Africa in late 2017.[6] In January 2018, director Robitel told Syfy that production had wrapped and that the film would be released in September 2018.[7]

Brian Tyler & John Carey compose the score for the film. The soundtrack is now released at sony classical, which include the full score and a remix from Escape Room Theme by Madsonik & Kill The Noise.

Release

In May 2018, it was announced that the film had been retitled Escape Room, and that it would be released on November 30, 2018.[8] A month later, the film was pushed back to February 1, 2019,[9] and later was rescheduled for January 4, 2019.[10]

In Poland, United International Pictures announced that the film's release in the country would be delayed for a while, out of respect for the five teenagers who had recently died in the Koszalin escape room fire.[11]

Reception

Box office

As of March 24, 2019, Escape Room has grossed $56.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $92.1 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $148.7 million, against a production budget of $9 million.[2][12]

In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $10–14 million from 2,717 theaters in its opening weekend.[4] It made $7.7 million on its first day, including $2.3 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $18.2 million, surpassing expectations and finishing second, behind holdover Aquaman.[13] The film made $8.9 million in its second weekend, dropping 51% and finishing fifth.[14]

Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 48% based on 126 reviews, and an average rating of 5.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Escape Room fails to unlock much of the potential in its premise, but what's left is still tense and thrilling enough to offer a passing diversion for suspense fans."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on 24 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[13]

Sequel

On February 25, 2019, a sequel was announced as being in active development, with Adam Robitel set to return to direct along with screenwriter Bragi F. Schut and producer Neal H. Moritz. It is scheduled for release on April 17, 2020.[17]

References

  1. "Escape Room". AMC Theatres. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 "Escape Room (2019)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  3. "Escape Room (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  4. 1 2 Rubin, Rebecca (January 3, 2019). "'Box Office: 'Escape Room' No Match for 'Aquaman'". Variety. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  5. Jr, Mike Fleming (2017-08-09). "Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell Enter 'The Maze'". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  6. "Deborah Ann Woll, Logan Miller to Star in Sony's 'The Maze'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  7. Wax, Alyse (2018-01-05). "How a new director helped Insidious: The Last Key change up the franchise". Syfy. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  8. Pedersen, Erik. "'Peter Rabbit 2' Gets Sony Greenlight; 2020 Release Date Set". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  9. Sony Dates Jason Reitman’s ‘The Front Runner’, Untitled James Gunn Horror Pic & ‘Escape Room’
  10. "Sony Moves 'Escape Room' Up By A Month & 'Miss Bala' By A Week". Deadline Hollywood. October 12, 2018.
  11. Scislowska, Monika (2019-01-07). "Victims of poland escape room fire to be buried together". The Associated Press. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
  12. "Escape Room (2019)". The Numbers. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  13. 1 2 D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 6, 2018). "'Aquaman' Still The Big Man At The B.O. With $30M+; 'Escape Room' Packs In $17M+ – Early Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  14. D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 13, 2018). "'Upside' Set To Be STX's First No. 1 Opener With $19M+; 'Aquaman' Flips Over $1B WW; Keanu Reeves Hits B.O. Low With 'Replicas'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  15. "Escape Room (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  16. "Escape Room Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  17. Anthony D'Alessandro (February 25, 2019). "'Escape Room 2' Construction Underway At Sony For 2020 Bow – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
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