Adam Robitel, the director of Columbia Pictures’ new suspense thriller Escape Room, sure knows a thing or two about creating horror hits for the big screen. After all, Robitel directed the record-breaking Insidious: The Last Key, which has grossed a whopping $167 million worldwide.
Escape Room began when producer Ori Marmur first tried out an escape room with his family and saw a potential for a film that plays out as much as a psychological thriller as a horror movie, by featuring an escape room with a twist. From the producers of the Fast & Furious series, Escape Room is about six strangers who find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to find the clues… or die.
“The good escape rooms are really cinematic: you go into a cold war bunker, you’re rooting through CIA dossiers, then you hit a button and suddenly a hidden projector turns on with a blue light and you see a map,” says Robitel. “These rooms are well art-directed so I saw the potential for a visually appealing film.”
In the film, the six characters — played by Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, and Nik Dodani — have chosen to be part of the escape room experience and, they will discover, there’s a mystery that links them all together. “They all chose to be there — they haven’t been kidnapped or forced there,” notes Marmur. That said, they all get more than they bargained for. “They all go there expecting one thing and then it becomes a very different thing entirely.”
And as they solve the puzzles and the plot of each of the individual rooms, they begin to see there is a larger puzzle to solve — why they chose to be there. As it turns out, they all have something in common. “The idea of strangers being brought together for mysterious reasons, thrust in this environment and having to work together, was a really cool idea,” says Robitel.
“Along the way, Original Film, Ori Marmur, and Neal Moritz (producer), they always said, ‘Let’s really try to elevate the genre and infuse a movie like this, which has great visuals, with great psychology, too,’” adds Robitel. “So whether it’s the Ice Room, Billiard Room, Tile Room — each of these rooms represents the psychological machinations and the trauma of each character… Everybody has fired on all cylinders to make this film. It’s been fantastic.”
Columbia Pictures presents an Original Film production, Escape Room. Starring Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, with Yorick van Wageningen. Directed by Adam Robitel (Insidious: The Last Key). Produced by Neal H. Moritz (The Fast and the Furious franchise) and Ori Marmur. Screenplay by Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik. Story by Bragi Schut.
In Philippine cinemas February 27, Escape Room is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #EscapeRoomMovie