When trailers first aired for the Columbia Pictures film Escape Room, I was skeptical about whether the film would offer more than a gimmick-filled, cheap thrill. Regardless, the movie’s premise did offer an opportunity for a fun-filled, psychological experiment that I just couldn’t pass up: Would watching Escape Room immediately before doing an escape room enhance the escape room experience? To put this question to the test, I recruited a team of willing friends to go to an evening showing of the film followed immediately by a late-night escape room.
For a full analysis of the film, check out our podcast episode. But if you haven’t yet seen the film or listened to our take, it’s enough to note that the movie does incorporate many classic escape room style puzzles in life-or-death scenarios that heighten the tension of escaping the room beyond the normal time-crunch. One scene uses an x-ray viewer as part of a puzzle, which is a device I had used in an escape room previously, so I enjoyed the clever incorporation of details used to create the atmosphere. If nothing else, the movie did a good job of heightening your immediate sense of claustrophobia, so after watching the film no one was terribly eager to be locked in a Wild-West themed room for an hour.
You read that right. Our room’s theme was Wild-West bank heist. My goal was to find something at least a little bit creepy, and unfortunately, that was the best we could find that night. There were two mannequins in the room reminiscent of the extremely creepy mannequin receptionist in the film, but nothing particularly frightening beyond that. Any fear induced by the film was quickly forgotten in our the race to puzzle it out and beat the clock. In all honesty, the walk from the theater to the escape room was probably the scariest part of the whole night because we had to go down a couple deserted alleys and hallways.
Final Cut: I would highly recommend incorporating this into your viewing experience of the film if you are able, especially if you find a somewhat creepy and ~immersive~ escape room. While the movie wasn’t quite scary enough to impact our time in the escape room, it was at the least a memorable night out with friends.
If you give this a try, let us know in the comments or on our social platforms, we’d love to hear about your experience. And please let us know if you’ve found an actually scary escape room because we would love to check it out!