Movie reviews: Hollywood and Indie, specializing in independent comedies, dramas, thrillers and romance.
Friday, May 6, 2022
Escape the Field: Movie Review
Creepiness but a lack of interesting characters in a corn field.
My first instinct of Escape the Field was a low-budget indie version of Escape Room, and yeah, very close to it. Escape Room spent more time at the beginning introducing the characters and then went more heavy into the action, whereas Escape the Field starts right in the middle of the corn field and tries to maintain a steady feel of creepiness.
Directed by: Emerson Moore
Screenplay by: Emerson Moore, Sean Wathen, Joshua Dobkin
Starring: Jordan Claire Robbins, Theo Rossi
We have six strangers who all wake up in the middle of a corn field with no idea how they got there and each have been given one seemingly random object. As the characters find one another they instinctively go on the offensive not trusting one another and accusing each other of somehow orchestrating whatever this is. The two who first find each other are quicker to bond than the others which makes sense, but that’s about where the natural instincts end with this movie.
My two main frustrations include the characters non-stop attacking one another. Days into this – whatever this trapped-in-a-corn-field is – and they would still rather go off on their own as others have done and died than work together. The other frustration is lack of introduction to the characters. Do they not want to get to know one another? What was the last thing each of them remember? What do they have in common? What skills do each of them possess? What state or country are they in? There’s no way I’m the only one asking these questions, and while one of those questions gets answered for some of the characters, it definitely felt like an after-thought, just something to fill up dialogue with.
The film kept up a decent pace to eventually get us to the solving the puzzle part, but remember the creepy atmosphere never goes away, most of the characters would rather attack one another than work together to solve the puzzle, so we’re definitely verging more on a horror movie than a well thought-out thriller. If you make it this far you’ll probably want to stick to the end, and while it does go in the direction you assume it kind of has to go in, it’s such a thoroughly uninteresting unsatisfying solution. Since the movie never cared to introduce us to the characters in the first place, I can’t say I’m surprised.
I like the effort to create a movie that involves a corn field, six people and pieces that fit together to solve a puzzle, but Escape the Field went creepiness and atmosphere first and characters last and I stopped caring before the end. And if that ending is supposed to be a set-up for a sequel, I’m definitely not watching.