Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Rear Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- Sony 85 inch X950H FALD TV
The proliferation of the escape room phenomenon the last 5-8 years has finally made its way to film. 2019’s Escape Room turned the innocent act of working through a puzzle room into a deadly adventure in a film that blended a lot of Cube with elements of Saw to create a thriller/mystery/horror movie that actually did quite well for itself. I won’t say that it revolutionized the thriller genre, but it was a fairly entertaining “only one can win!” type of suspenseful horror flick. The sequel uses a lot of what makes the first one good, and sort of expands the universe a bit and brings back the “best of the best” for one more game.
Zoey Davis (Taylor Russell) along with rescued friend Ben Miller (Logan Miller) are living lift after having escaped from the deadly puzzle games from the last film. However, Zoey is not just content to let the mysterious puzzle master and his clients get away with delivering the same fate to more unsuspecting people. Figuring out where his base of operations seems to be (using a puzzle, how shocking) the two suddenly find out that the mysterious puzzle master Minos (played by the amazing James Frain) is already on to them. Suddenly they’re thrust back into the world of games, and this time it’s not just with any old people. It’s the winners of previous games who have been stuck together to see who is the best of the best, and now only one of them can survive as usual.
The majority of the movie plays out similarly to the first one. Zoey, Ben and their new comrades have to navigate a maze of puzzles that require them to use all of their brain power and physical skills to escape. HOWEVER, here is where things get interesting. We have both a theatrical and extended cut on the disc, which normally is no big deal as an extended cut adds a few bits of deleted scenes and voila, new cut to advertise. This is the first time in my reviewing history where the extended cut is a COMPLETELY different film than the theatrical cut. I won’t really spoil anything for either cut, but the extended cut is so dramatically different from the theatrical cut that I consider the two almost completely different films.
Personally I like the extended cut better. Usually I roll my eyes at extended cuts of most movies as they’re just a few awkward deleted scenes shoved back in, but this one is quite the substantial change. The theatrical cut spends a lot of back story time with Zoey and Ben, setting them up for their inevitable showdown with the game master. However, the extended inserts a whole back story piece for the game master himself and his family. It was a bit weird at first, but that new ending explains it a bit more, even if the “twist” is kind of guessed 20 minutes out for a lot of people. The final act is so wildly different that they’re completely different villains, heroes, and the outcome of the winner as well. The theatrical leaves you with a cliffhanger ending were Zoey isn’t really “out” of the game just yet, while the extended sets up the villain for the 3rd film, if they so deem it, when it comes out.
Rated PG-13 for violence, terror/peril and strong language
• Go Inside the Minos Escape Rooms
• Meet the Players
• Director Adam Robitel on Raising the Stakes
Is Escape Room: Tournament of Champions a great film? Nah, but it’s kind of like Cube meets Saw with a more sanitized PG-13 violence level to it. I’d say the franchise leans more towards mystery and thriller categories than true horror, but the whole “do you want to play a game?” aspect of it with death at the end really brings back memories of the Saw franchise (just not nearly as twisted). All in all, I kinda like these two films as fun creepy thrillers. They definitely require some suspension of disbelief and the plot holes require you to look the other way, but they’re very atmospheric and fun. Especially having played my fair share of escape rooms (my wife actually is game master for a local escape room in town, which means I’m the guinea pig when they change something or add a new room). The Blu-ray is fantastic in terms of video and audio, but the extra are a tad weak. Fun watch if you like the trailer.
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deorah Ann Woll, Thomas Cocquerel, Holland Roden, Indya Moore
Directed by: Adam Robitel
Written by: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel Tuch
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1, English DVS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French, Spanish
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 5th 2021
Recommendation: Decent Watch