Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: Six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive. Joining forces with two of the original survivors they soon discover they’ve all played the game before.
Review: How many times can you watch a bunch of people try to figure their way out of a deadly escape room only to end up in another one before you want to claw your eyes out? Three. The answer is three.
I don’t usually start my reviews of so…salty, but I just had to get that off my chest. The first Escape Room movie was kind of fun. It’s basically the premise of the classic 1997 genre flick Cube with a dash of Saw, except the villain(s) here have Tony Stark-levels of moolah, so the puzzle rooms have an almost video game-like feel to them.
At the end of the first movie two survivors emerged, Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller), and it’s these two unlucky compadres who find themselves once again drawn into a sadistic game. And this time they’re accompanied by other survivors from other escape rooms, because that’s the only idea the creators could come up with.
I’ll give them props for the visually entertaining puzzle rooms as well as the energy put forth by the actors involved. Director Adam Robitel and his crew also do a solid job of adding tension to each scene as you really do feel like the players are in real danger. My personal favourite was “the acid room” which stood out a bit more than the others due to the grizzly nature of the setup. But that’s about it, or at least it was for me.
There just wasn’t enough added to this sequel to make it feel different from what came before. Say what you will about the Saw franchise, at least they kept building on the background of their antagonist (and even some of the characters) and in doing so the world they inhabited kept expanding. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions was so much like the first film if you put it on for a friend to watch and they didn’t see the first act they would probably be unaware it was a sequel.
It was also predictable as hell! With the exception of one character reveal, I knew exactly who was going to die and how this movie was going to unfold. From the opening scene I had this movie figured out. That’s not even me boasting as the damn thing telegraphs its plot so much Helen Keller would’ve known where the story was going to end up.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t watch a third one though. I know, I know, I JUST finished ripping the movie to shreds and here I am hoping for another one. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (stupid title considering at no point in time did this feel like a tournament) was a wash, rinse, and repeat of the first film for sure, but there’s something entertaining hidden beneath all that laziness.
I love escape rooms; I’ve never done one but I think the idea is fun. Throw in horror/thriller elements and you have something cool on your hands. The franchise just needs to flesh out the story more, add depth to the characters and give us an actual villain to root against instead of just some faceless conglomerate.
If they spend more time on substance and a little less effort on making their set pieces “super cool”, we just might get a horror/thriller series worth investing in.
Sommer’s Score: 5 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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