Film Review: Escape Room – Tournament of Champions

escape-room-tournament-of-champions-2021By Frances Winston

Directed by: Adam Robitel – Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Indya Moore, Holland Roden, Thomas Cocquerel, Carlito Olivero, Isabelle Fuhrman, Deborah Ann Woll

In cinemas now!

As soon as Escape Rooms became a popular pastime, and ‘bonding experience’, it was only going to be a matter of time before someone made a movie about them – and it was always going to be a horror. Enter 2019’s Escape Room. And obviously, when that was a success we could expect a sequel, hence this offering.

Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the first one – there are plenty of flashback scenes to keep you in the loop. Plenty! So much so that for a while I was wondering if they had just re-cut the first movie.

Thankfully, they haven’t, so we get a whole new selection of weird and wonderfully horrific rooms that the unwilling participants have to escape. Picking up with Zoey (Russell) and Ben (Miller), who survived the first outing, determining to bring Minos, the company behind the deadly Escape Room, to justice, they learn that there appears to be a new game starting.

Travelling to New York to try and expose it, they instead find themselves in the midst of a ‘Tournament of Champions’, with other survivors of the rooms. Given the title, it won’t come as a surprise that they have to figure out how to escape from a series of increasingly complex and deadly rooms they find themselves in…and not all of them will make it out.

I have to say I have seen the first movie, but I barely remembered it. It appears it was pretty forgettable, and this is somewhat similar. Audiences are anaesthetised to most horror tropes at this stage, and the Saw movies, to name just one franchise, have turned escaping a room or a trap into an extremely gruesome watch, making anything else seem tame in comparison.

This doesn’t add anything to the first movie. Rather it is more of the same. The cast are all good, and do their best with the material. But there are some ludicrous twists and turns (and yes, I do mean by horror movie standards) that will just leave you scratching your head.

It’s not really gory enough for the torture-porn fans, but it’s too tame for the average horror fan, and I’m not quite sure who the target audience is.

This has some nice moments – the first room they have to escape is quite clever – but it runs out of steam quite quickly, and you see the twists coming a mile away.

If you really loved the original, then you will probably enjoy this, but if, like me, you barely remember the original, you’ll probably be more invested in your cinema snacks than the movie.

About EILE Magazine

The new LGBT magazine; available online, for download and on podcast. It's time for another view.
%d bloggers like this: