Escape Room is a 2019 American psychological horror film directed by Adam Robitel, and written by Bragi F. Schut and Maria Melnik. The film stars Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Taylor Russell, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis, and Nik Dodani, and follows a group of people who are sent to navigate a series of escape rooms, only to find the consequences are deadly. Development of the film began in August 2017, then under the title “The Maze“, and the casting process commenced. Filming took place in South Africa in late 2017 through January 2018. Escape Room is a psychological thriller about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues or die.
A young disheveled man falls from the ceiling into a library. He frantically looks for a code to enter into a puzzle as the walls around him start to move in. The movie resets to three days earlier. Shy Physics student Zoey, struggling stockboy Ben, young trader Jason, pyrophobic war veteran Amanda, former miner Mike and escape room enthusiast Danny are all gifted a puzzle box invitation to the Minos Escape Room Facility for a chance to win $10,000 should they successfully escape. Each player walks into a waiting room, and is told by a person behind a frosted window to “have a seat and someone will be with you shortly”.
When Ben tries leaving the waiting room at the facility for a smoke break, the door handle breaks off, revealing that the game has actually begun. The players notice there’s a puzzle within the broken door handle. The players scramble around the room looking for a numerical code. Zoey notices a number on one of the books in Mike’s hand. She runs to the door puzzle and turns the dial, initiating a giant heater/oven effect in the room. Escape Room was released in the United States on January 4, 2019, by Sony Pictures Entertainment, and was a box office success, grossing over $97 million worldwide and becoming the second highest-grossing film of 2019. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the atmosphere and cast, but criticized the familiar plot and its failure to take full advantage of its premise.