Playing like a video game that has come to life, Escape Room ratchets up both the danger and improbability. The players lose everything when they lose the game so they must be quick of mind and fast in solving intricate puzzles.
It’s with the effort to involve the audience with the latter that the film runs into a conundrum of its own. The clues that the gamers on-screen must figure out to advance in the game are almost impenetrable to viewers. Very few discernible clues are given. So the experience become less a problem solving exercise and more a conventional horror show.
As the brain test turns to terror, the proceedings become less cerebral and instead impart a higher level of slow building drama. Successful at ramping up the suspense demise by demise, it becomes more conventional yet more effective.
With a final twist in the tail and a reference to the greater evil behind it all, Escape Room ends where it begins. Seen as an exercise in feeding the cinema goers clues and taking them on an interactive journey it is less involving. As a murderous scare fest however, it gets the job done.