Like many such stories, Escape Room could be summarised as splendid action sequences, messy and lazy ending.
Escape Room Synopsis
Six strangers are invited to an Escape the Room game, the prize money of which is 10,000 bucks. Upon gathering, the game turns dark, and it is soon obvious that the meticulously conceptualised rooms are designed to horrifically kill players. Before long, it also becomes clear that all six trapped players share an unknown and tragic connection.
Though they seem like a modern party fad, Escape the Room scenarios have long been popular in storytelling and games.
In whodunnits, the scenario is typically presented as a group of strangers “trapped” somewhere. They seem to share some dark connection, and before long, one by one is picked off.
In video games, we had memorable classics like The 7th Guest and The Colonel’s Bequest. In movies, there’s Alien, Cube, Saw, and so on.
Regardless of output, one challenge of the scenario that so many writers fail to overcome is that of the wrap-up. Simply put, this is the BIG explanation at the end. The one that is meant to tie together all the intriguing and yummy and disassociated elements peppered throughout the tale.
What frequently happens is that many writers spin such elaborate stories, they can’t sensibly bring everything back together. To give an example, the Kindaichi Manga/Anime stories are often guilty of this. Oh, they are scary and captivating. But equally as much, the plot developments get so exotic, the endings are downright implausible or ridiculous. Sometimes, they are even comical.
Escape Room succumbs to this same flaw with its conclusion. It fairs well in the first half, with superb escape sequences and great contrasting of the six disparate personalities. What then follows is an increasingly steep downhill slide into the convenient and trite when it’s time for the big reveal.
Logically speaking, this “explanation” isn’t entirely absurd, the main problem is that it feels terribly tired from the whole Dr. Wootan Yu device being so overused in movies.
When you compare it with the earlier escape sequences, you would also notice the sheer difference in finesse and imagination. In a way, it was almost as if the gamemaster gave up halfway and decided to end the game early, because his mom is summoning him home. Such a strong, unfulfilled sensation was left hanging in the air.