The movie Escape Room on Netflix turns the puzzle room idea into a psychological thriller with enough twists and thrills to keep audiences entertained. The story follows six players as they navigate a series of deadly escape rooms, all of which point to some sinister similarity among the characters. Their quest to find all the clues and flee the room requires them to risk their lives.
Note: Depending on your country and the time of reading this article, the movie may no longer be available to stream on Netflix.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
After receiving mysterious invitations in the form of black puzzle boxes, six people accept an escape room challenge. Minos, the company responsible for the invitations, offers a $10,000 prize to the winner. The players are a random bunch with little in common other than their willingness to participate in the game. While sitting awkwardly in the lobby waiting for their host to arrive, the players realize the game has already begun. The hall becomes an oversized oven, torturing the team with increasing heat until they unlock clues and find the exit.
The players’ escape leads to another trap room, this time a hunter’s cabin that opens to a highly convincing forest covered in snow. The game turns fatal when one of the players falls through a frozen lake and freezes to death. The players realize that the game’s goal is not just to escape but to survive the dangers in each room.
After a narrow escape from the winter woods, the remaining five players find themselves on the ceiling of an upside-down pool hall room. As the floor falls away panel by panel, players climb the walls and deduce the solutions to the puzzles that lead to their escape. As with the previous room, one player dies while helping the other four players flee the chamber.
The next room provides insight into what might be happening to these players. A hospital room with beds and files for each player reveals that they are the sole survivors of tragic accidents, incidents shown in flashbacks. Each room has been a recreation of the real-world situations they survived, forcing them to relive their trauma. Taunted by the mysterious figure who created the space, Mr. Wootan Yu, the players discover that the only way to exit the room is to risk another player’s life, this time an ex-miner who nearly suffocated in a cave-in.
With two players lost before the team escapes the hospital room, the remaining two challengers find themselves in a psychedelic chamber that releases hallucinogenic gas. When one player is fatally injured in a struggle for the antidote to the gas, the remaining player escapes and finds himself in a warehouse with one of the game’s creators. The confrontation leads to an explanation of why these were the six people invited to play the game. Minos, the company that created the game, tests various groups to learn how far humans will go to survive when pitted against one another. He compares the escape room to gladiator games, with figures in control watching players risk their lives as a form of entertainment. After a brutal struggle and the surprise return of another player, the two surviving team members kill the game creator and finally escape.
Months after their ordeal, the two surviving players discuss the true meaning behind the game and the company that created it. This explanation is an escape game riddle itself. In an excellent set-up for a sequel, the two players set off on a quest to find the next escape room so they can stop Minos before the company kills again.
Escape Room takes its cues from the Saw film series and real-life escape rooms. A sinister, unseen figure pulls the strings in a murderous plot that pits players against the clock as they race to escape one death trap after another. In this case, the figure is an escape room designer fascinated with what drives people to survive.
The production values are fantastic, with impressive sets and dazzling effects that immerse viewers in the world of these fatal escape rooms. While there is no need for the other players to harm each other to solve the puzzles, there is a dread in knowing that not every character will make it out safely. At first, there might be a strange satisfaction for viewers thinking they could solve the puzzles much better than the players in the film. However, as the story progresses, the idea that these people are not meant to survive fills the narrative with palpable horror. Rather than just solving the puzzles, viewers may find themselves wondering which character will be next to die.
The actors overplay performances at the film’s beginning, which is distracting. Each character’s background is given in broad strokes to maintain the mystery as long as possible. The filmmakers include a gamer character who is an escape room expert. This player explains the concept to the other players, which also clues viewers in on how escape rooms work. The actors settle into their roles quickly after the initial awkwardness passes. As the tension rises and the rooms become more challenging, the characters become more relatable. Like in an actual escape room, the characters solve the puzzles aloud, a device that pulls the audience into the tension.
The set design in Escape Room is superior, with clever challenges that keep the audience guessing as much as the characters. Each room becomes a supporting character, taunting the players as they progress. Though the clues seem minimal, possibly to keep from bogging down the film, the puzzles these players solve are clever and well-designed. Sometimes, the décor is part of the puzzle, as in the upside-down pool hall. Each room presents an elemental threat, like fire, ice, and gas. The final room is particularly impressive, with a full suite of classic furniture that gets crushed as the walls close in. There are even floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a full-sized fireplace that get flattened. The suspense in that room is excruciating!
The movie pulls viewers into the mounting peril as the timer ticks in each environment. The danger the players find themselves in adds palpable fear. These characters have no idea what will happen next, nor does the audience. The ultimate reveal of a shadowy company creating conspiracy-worthy escape room settings to test unwitting players is an effective set-up for more films in the series. One sequel, called Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, picks up where the first film ends. This sequel is an ideal continuation for anyone who loves the first film and is eager to discover what happens next.
Escape Room is a must-see film for fans of high-stakes thrillers, even if these viewers have no familiarity with actual escape rooms. The movie makes it easy to understand the concept while ratcheting up the thrills and introducing elements of terror and physical suspense. With decent production values and a compelling storyline that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, Escape Room is a creditable attempt at applying the tension of true escape room dynamics to a setting where the players’ lives are in true peril and filmgoers are along for the terrifying ride.
FAQ: Escape Room on Netflix
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Escape Room on Netflix.
What is Escape Room on Netflix?
Escape Room is a psychological thriller film that follows six players summoned to play a deadly escape room challenge. Once the players realize the rooms are lethal traps meant to kill one or all of them, their race to win a $10,000 prize becomes a struggle to survive. One by one, the players fall prey to the murderous rooms. The remaining players must choose survival as they struggle to escape.
Is Escape Room on Netflix a good movie?
Escape Room on Netflix is a good movie for fans of escape room gameplay. It is a fun thriller that pulls viewers in as they mirror the onscreen players solving puzzles to escape death in each room. The rooms are well-imagined and challenging to decrypt for the audience and the characters. There are enough twists along the way to keep escape room fans entranced right up to the final reveal. If you are a fan of thrillers that use escape rooms as a form of torture, then Escape Room is a great movie to add to your watch list.