Good horror is hard to find, so often when a concept brings in the big bucks and doesn’t draw too much ire from the fans, studios will run it into the ground. That’s what happened with the incredibly lucrative SAW franchise. Now that there’s no more life there, Sony is taking the concept and adding a trend-hopping twist to it in Escape Room.
Escape Room follows a group of six people, including a student, a grocery store employee, and a high-powered business man, who are sent a complex puzzle box. Once they solve it, they are invited to an immerse escape room, but when they get there, they find that failure to solve the rooms will lead to their deaths. They come to realize that they have been brought together for one very specific reason, though we don’t get to find out why.
Now I’m not one to dump all over a movie based on the trailer alone, but man does it look like it’s trying way too hard. There’s also an issue that the film is that the film is missing the height of the escape room trend by at least a year. Now, that usually wouldn’t be an issue but by naming your film after the “hottest new thing” then you risk the film coming off as just another name-recognition cash-grab. As far as we can tell from the trailer, it’s basically SAW all over again, minus creepy puppet and grimy warehouses.
What’s also kind of weird is how many Netflix actors you have in the cast. Taylor Russell, the physics super-genius who looks to be one of our main leads, also plays Judy from Netflix’s Lost in Space. Deborah Ann Woll, the blond woman amongst the six, is also Karen from Daredevil, along with Nik Dodani from Atypical, and Tyler Labine from Voltron: Legendary Defender (or Tucker and Dale vs. Evil if that’s more your jam). So you know they’ve got the acting chops to pull this off, if they’ve got the script and direction behind them. Adam Robitel, the film’s director, has only worked on Sinister and Paranormal Activity sequels no one saw so…I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Escape Room is set to premiere in theaters on January 4, 2019.