Escape: Puzzle of Fear
Dir. J. Jones (2020)
A Hollywood agent who is not a nice guy gets invited to an escape room on a double date. He finds himself in the middle of a revenge plot to make him atone for his sins.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Decent acting (from most characters) with fleshed out characters could not save a movie with some of the worst storytelling I’ve ever seen. The escape room premise feels a bit overdone at this point, and it’s an afterthought in this film that didn’t really need to be there anyway. What’s missing in this film is the mystery at its core, involving the murder of a young girl and the relegation of her sister to an insane asylum. This would all have been handled fairly well had there not been a flashback revealing both the person behind the entire revenge plot as well as who they’re after and why that occurred before the characters even reach the escape room. You could’ve had a good plot with a fairly interesting twist (though certainly not unique). However, whoever decided to arrange the events in this order should never be involved in filmmaking again. Absolutely inexcusable error that turned a Lifetime-caliber movie (which could still hold some entertainment value) into something not even worth a watch. By the time the film decides to expose its main character as a deranged serial killer, for no fucking reason I might add, all logic in storytelling has flown out the window.