Review: No Escape Room (2018)

Starring: Jeni Ross, Mark Ghanimé, Hamza Haq, Kathryn Davis, Dennis Andres
Director: Alex Merkin
Writen by: Jesse Mittelstadt

What’s it about?

An angsty teenage girl, Karen (Ross) and her dad, Michael (Ghanimé) are heading home from a failed outing when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. they get it to a mechanic, but they have some time to kill, so they decide to check out an escape room advertised in the local paper. the escape room turns out to be an escape house, the story behind which involves a crazy inventor and five missing people. Here, the pair meet Melanie (Davis), her boyfriend Tyler (Haq) and Andrew (Andres). The five start out strong, getting through the first room in just 10 minutes. as their allotted hour ticks by, the house becomes more mysterious and sinister. Is there really no escape, as the title implies? or will they figure out a way, in the end?

What did I think?

This movie was well done. Karen’s angsty attitude annoyed me, which means she played it well. She acted like a real Karen, that’s for sure. Mark Ghanimé reminded me of a mixture of Michael Sheen and Charlie Day, both actors who I admire. He played concerned father very well.

The acting in general was well done. We had all our horror archetypes present: the harbinger, the hot young woman, the hot strong young man with whom the hot young woman will flirt, the token person of color, the misdirection character, and generic white people. Andrew’s sarchastic lines werwe delivered perfectly, making Karen (and me) laugh a few times. Dennis Andres looks like Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Phantom of the Opera) and sounds like Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl). I dug it. The screams were real screams, not those hokey horror movie screams, so they gave it their all. Brava.

The house was absolutely beautiful, filled with mystery, intrigue, and gorgeous stain glass windows. It was even complete with an old morgue and bars on the windows. So many red flags that I would absolutely overlook if I was in the market to buy ( I can just hear KinkedNitemare roll her eyes and mutter, “White people shit.”). Methinks this “inventor” was a wannabe surgeon; most definitely a serial killer. However you look at it, it was an old house with a lot of secrets.

Without spoiling the ending, I will say that it left me with questions to mull over, like whether or not everyone in town was in on the horrors of their local escape room. I’m not sure I’m a fan of an open ending. I do enjoy when everything is wrapped up nicely. I wonder if there will be a sequel.

Would I recommend it?

simply put, yes. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. I wouldn’t say it scared me, but it did have me at the edge of my seat, which is a tough feat for me lately.. I give it a solid 8/10. You can watch No Escape Room on Netflix. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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