Escape Room (2019)

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German title Escape room
Original title Escape room
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 2019
length 100 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
JMK 14
Director Adam Robitel
script Bragi F. Schut ,
Maria Melnik
production Neal H. Moritz ,
Ori Marmur
music John Carey ,
Brian Tyler
camera Marc Spicer
cut Steve Mirkovich

Escape Room is a American psychological horror film by Adam Robitel from the year 2019 .


A man falls from the ceiling in a room that is designed like a drawing room with a bookcase. He runs towards the opposite wall, on which a number puzzle is attached, in which 4 numbers have to be arranged in the middle. When he moves a number, a wall begins to move towards him and threatens to crush him. He interprets the clues and just manages to find the right code and enter it, but it doesn't seem to work. The wall continues towards him and breaks his lower leg.

In Chicago , after a lecture on quantum physics , shy student Zoey is asked to do something challenging during the vacation. The wealthy stockbroker Jason is busy with his business. Warehouse worker Ben wants a better job. You each receive a mysterious black cube with the instruction to think creatively “outside the box”, to open new doors or to take a chance to escape. In the cube you will find an invitation from the Minos company asking you to be the first to test the latest escape room and win 10,000 dollars in the process. In the given building, Zoey, Jason and Ben meet three other participants: the Iraq War veteran Amanda, the truck driver Mike and the escape room fan Danny. As they wait for the game master, Ben wants to go out to smoke, but the doorknob breaks off. Danny realizes that they are already in the escape room.

Under the handle is a knob with a temperature scale that Zoey sets to Fahrenheit 451 after Amanda finds a screwdriver in the book of the same name. This causes heating rods attached to the ceiling to start to heat up. While they are looking for further clues, various mechanisms are activated, whereby the corner pillars of the room heat up, the shutters close and finally hot air is blown into the room. The visibly disturbed Amanda gets a glass of water from Ben. After the supposed receptionist turned out to be a doll behind a window, a written note from Dr. Wootan Yu on coasters. By pressing down on the indentations on the table with their hands, a ventilation duct opens up through which they can enter the next room. Jason goes ahead and realizes that a previously found screwdriver is needed to open a grille into the next room. After Mike brings this to him, Amanda goes next and has a panic attack. In a flashback, she pulls herself out of a burning car in military uniform. The remaining three realize that they need something to weigh down the pressure plates, as they have to be pressed down in order to all escape. Zoey remembers the hint of coasters and tells Ben and Danny to fill the glasses with water from the dispenser while she rushes to the aid of the screaming Amanda. The two notice that the portion that Amanda had previously drunk is no longer enough water. At the last second, Ben remembers his hip flask, the contents of which are enough to fill the last glass enough to trigger the pressure plate. Both can barely save themselves before a flamethrower descending from the ceiling burns the entire room.

You are now in a wooden hut. Amanda now wants to end the game, but gets no reception with Danny's smuggled cell phone. For a door lock, the group needs a code word with seven letters. With the help of antlers, Ben remembers a game accident and comes up with the correct answer, Rudolph. In front of the door, the six players find themselves in a winter setting and freeze in icy temperatures, which are constantly falling. After Danny walks over the ice towards the apparent mountains, he hits an invisible wall. Panels now open in this and icy air flows into the room. The group finds a red winter jacket, which they take turns using, as well as a fishing rod and a magnet. They fish a block of ice embedded in a metal frame with a key in the middle of a hole that Ben broke with his foot. When Danny tries to get the smoking Ben's lighter to melt it, he breaks into the ice surface and drowns, as currents under it wash him away from the hole. While the group takes turns melting the key out of the ice block with their body heat, the red jacket reminds Jason, who is particularly suffering from the cold, of a shipwreck. You just escape with the key into the next room before the ice of the lake is completely blown up.

The five participants who are still alive come into a room with a bar and pool table, which is upside down. However, the door knob is missing at the exit. When a phone rings from the ceiling, the receiver drops. When Mike answers, a whistle sounds and loud music begins to play. The room, which goes up as an elevator, jolts. After a part of the ground collapsed shortly afterwards and allowed a view of the abyss below them, everyone held on to the side railing. Amanda climbs up the upturned counter on the wall and finds a safe. Zoey recognizes a sliding puzzle on the opposite side and sets off, but has to overcome part of the fallen floor. Mike helps her up and Ben goes to her too. Zoey determines the necessary numerical code with the sliding puzzle, in which the colors correspond to the numbers on the billiard balls on the ceiling and Amanda finds the black figure eight in the safe, which serves as the door knob for the exit. As more and more parts of the floor collapse, a screw loosens from the shelf that Zoey, Ben and Mike are holding onto. To prevent them all from falling, Zoey wants to climb over to Jason, who is already standing at the exit, but cannot hold his back and falls with his back on one of the remaining floor slabs and remembers a plane crash in which she was killed Mother calls. As you, Mike, and Ben climb over to Jason, Amanda is still on the opposite side of the room while the floor is now almost completely falling away. When trying to climb over the billiard table hanging from the ceiling, the doorknob falls onto the floor plate below. Before it falls, she also drops and can throw the ball to the group at the last moment before the plate breaks away. With the last of her strength, she holds on to the phone, which is hanging from the ceiling. The others try to reach her with the help of billiard cues , but the cord of the phone breaks and Amanda falls into the depths.

The remaining four go to a replica hospital, where they can find medical records for each participant. These are reminiscent of disasters in their lives. Amanda survived in Iraq an IED -Explosion, Zoey survived a plane crash in Vietnam , Jason escaped unlike his wegschwimmenden buddy after the capsizing of the boat, Ben lost his friends in a car accident, Mike came alive from a collapsing mine in West Virginia out and Danny didn't succumb to the carbon monoxide poisoning that killed his family. All players are therefore the only survivors of a disaster. Zoey believes that the strongest of the survivors should now be sought. When Wootan Yu reappears on a screen and a five-minute countdown begins, after which poison gas floods the room, Zoey no longer wants to obey the rules and destroys the surveillance cameras. Thanks to his deaf cousin, Ben recognizes the sign language on X-rays, which form the word EKG . Jason recognizes after a pulse measurement Mike that a limit value of the heartbeat has to be reached in order to release the exit. Jason uses a defibrillator to drive Mike's pulse so high that he dies in the process. While gas is already flowing into the room, it recognizes that a lower value has to be reached and opens the next door with its own measurement on the ECG device. While Jason and Ben walk on, the rampaging Zoey stays in the hospital room and collapses on the floor, foaming at her mouth.

Ben accuses Jason of killing other people to survive himself. The two men come into a black and white room where they are under the influence of hallucinogens . Ben finds a syringe with the antidote, but the dose is only enough for one, and a fight ensues in which Jason dies after hitting his head on a corner of the ceiling. Then Ben comes into the last part of the escape room. It's the salon from the opening scene. Two men in protective suits enter the hospital room through a wall to dispose of the bodies and to prepare the room again. When one of them wonders about an oxygen mask hanging from the ceiling, Zoey knocks them down with an IV pole. Zoey picks up the scientist's pistol and leaves the room.

After being almost squashed, Ben manages to find the exit, a shaft. In the adjoining hall, on the wall of which there are crossed out pictures of those who have died so far, he meets the game master who describes him as a victorious outsider. The Gamemaster explains that the tasks are getting tougher and that there have previously been events for college athletes and islanders . These are broadcast live as a modern gladiator game to special customers who, according to him, include the most powerful and influential in the world. When Ben asks if he will survive as the winner, the Gamemaster tries to strangle him from behind with a wire rope, but can save himself by breaking off a piece of bone protruding from his lower leg and stabbing the Gamemaster in the side. Before he can attack again, he is stopped in time by the arriving Zoey with a shot. While Zoey takes care of the almost passed out Ben, the Gamemaster is able to flee from their field of vision. Zoey, who is looking for him, is overwhelmed and can only barely be saved by Ben before the Gamemaster can shoot her and kills him with the pistol. Both then leave the building.

Ben arrives at the hospital but is considered an unsuitable witness because of the drugs in his body. When Zoey and the police return to the building, all traces of the escape room are gone. However, she sees the words "No Way Out" on the wall of the furnace room and realizes that these are an anagram of the name Wootan Yu.

Six months later, Zoey and Ben meet again. She shows him newspaper articles that claim that the other players in the Escape Room died in "normal" accidents. In the Minos logo, she recognizes a Penrose staircase and coordinates that refer to an industrial building in Manhattan . She wants to fly there with Ben and has already reserved tickets.

In a plane crashing uncontrollably, the flight attendants search for the solution to a puzzle while the passengers scream in panic. When they manage to open the door to the cockpit, in which the pilots were apparently poisoned, the plane crashes into a mountain and the windows that serve as monitors become transparent again. It becomes clear that this was just a test for such an escape room. A scientist talks through a terminal to a man with a distorted voice, only visible in silhouette. He says that they are already informed about the plane tickets from Zoey and Ben and asks about the chance of survival of the airplane simulation. After the scientist replies that this is 4%, the stranger replies that they have a chance of survival.

Alternative beginning

In an alternative beginning published on DVD and Blu-ray, the group of college athletes mentioned by the game master enters the waiting room with their coach. They should improve their teamwork through the game. When the trainer wants to wait outside for them, the handle rips off, as with the group in the main film. Instead of sticking to the rules of the Escape Room, they try to escape by force after initially attempting to contact the receptionist. After the screwdriver has been used to open the glass window in vain and breaks off, they manage to open the glass and they discover the doll. You fail to find the solution and you end up being burned.

Alternative ending

In an alternative ending published on DVD and Blu-ray, Zoey is sitting in her room working on a puzzle when she recognizes a Penrose staircase with the number of her lecture hall. When she enters it, she finds a secret compartment in her seat with the necklace of her mother who died in the plane crash, whereupon she bursts into tears. As the doors of the hall close, a microphone picks up from the teacher's desk and a voice tells them that a new room is waiting for them and that there is no way out ("No Way Out").


The song playing in the billiards room is Downtown by Petula Clark .

reception rates the film as entertaining throughout, but criticizes the fact that the film is also reminiscent of Vincenzo Natali's enthralling chamber play Cube from 1997, whose claustrophobic intensity does not, however, reach. Variety criticizes that it doesn't matter who lives or dies in the film and that this takes the momentum out of the second half of the film.


The film was produced by Columbia Pictures and Original Film.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Escape Room . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF; test number: 186815 / K). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Age rating for Escape Room . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Christopher Diekhaus: Escape Room. In: Retrieved March 14, 2019 .
  4. ^ Owen Gleiberman: Film Review: 'Escape Room'. In: Variety. January 3, 2019, accessed on March 14, 2019 .