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'Escape Room': When a puzzle game turns deadly

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, January 7, 2019  /  03:43 pm

Escape Room, brought to the big screen this year by Sony Pictures Entertainment, is inspired by an adventure game that places participants in a locked room, where they must find clues and solve riddles to exit the room within a limited time.

Six strangers find themselves caught in a deadly situation in the Escape Room after they agree to participate in the "Minos" immersion game for a US$10,000 prize. The participants are college student Zoey (Taylor Russell), army veteran Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll), truck driver Mike (Tyler Labine), escape room nerd Danny (Nik Dodani), stock boy Ben (Logan Miller) and finance executive Jason (Jay Ellis).

Zoey (Taylor Russell) opens an invitation from the 'Minos' game in 'Escape Room'. Zoey (Taylor Russell) opens an invitation from the 'Minos' game in 'Escape Room'. (Sony Pictures Entertainment on YouTube/File)

The six must find clues to move before they are burned alive or killed by hypothermia from one rigged room to the next. Each room has its own dangerous trap and time limit. However, "Minos" is no ordinary game, as it knows all details of the participants’ darkest pasts and incorporates them into the game.

Read also: ‘Insidious: The Last Key' offers predictable yet watchable prequel

Fans of Cube ( 1997 ) and Saw ( 2004 ) will encounter a similar premise in Escape Room, although it is not as brutal as Saw. Helmed by director Adam Robitel of Insidious: The Last Key, the film opens with shocking, attention-grabbing scenes.

Aside from its suspense, the film deserves applause for its use of well-designed rooms and unpredictable challenges. However, some of the dialogue feels dreary, slowing the pace of several scenes.

Danny (Nik Dodani), an escape game nerd, puts his knowledge and wits to the test in a real-life game in Sony Pictures' 'Escape Room'. Danny (Nik Dodani), an escape game nerd, puts his knowledge and wits to the test in a real-life game in Sony Pictures' 'Escape Room'. (Sony Pictures Entertainment on YouTube/File)

All six actors develop their characters adeptly to play with the audience’s emotions through their personalities and decisions, especially Jason and Amanda.

Sony Pictures has collaborated with escape game provider Pandora Experience to promote Escape Room in Indonesia with a giant poster, a display map, photo booths and trailer screenings in selected outlets, including Mal Alam Sutera in Tangerang and Mal Ciputra in West Jakarta.

Read also: ‘Jakpost guide to Jl. Puri Indah Raya'

Each Pandora Experience outlet offers rooms with different themes and challenges. (wng)

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