The escape room concept is relatively well known – a group of people are trapped in a room, and the only way out is to solve complex riddles and clues. This sub-genre has been seen before in the ‘Saw’ series, and the concept goes back even further to 1997 with the Canadian film ‘Cube’. In ‘Escape Room’, we’re introduced to a couple of the characters and see how they end up in this life-or-death situation. Along the way, we also discover how the other players fit into the deadly game. Although some of them might get on your nerves for different reasons, it’s the way they’ve been written, with no fault of the actors, per se.
Taylor Russell plays Zoey Davis, a brilliant college student who is an introvert. Jay Ellis plays Jason Walker, a successful, and cocky chap who thinks he’s better than everyone else. Deborah Ann Woll plays Amanda Harper, probably the most layered character of them all. She has a huge role to play in one of the rooms which happens to be the most nail-biting. The momentum ramps up until this room, approximately midway through the film, but takes a sharp downturn from this point on. It then becomes apparent that the intriguing reason why these strangers are forced to work together hadn’t been thought through.
Director Adam Robitel tries to sell hard the tried and tested concept with a brand-new packaging, which soon wears thin. Barring a couple of surprises, whatever investment is made into the proceedings stunningly fails towards the last lap and dramatically crashes in the climax. The scriptwriters appear to be stuck in an escape room of their own making, as they write themselves into a corner with no way out. Instead, they resort to an inane and bizarre ending.