I watched two films over the weekend likely to be of interest to Bar types, and in lieu of the Bother’s Bar Film Club which on my list of things we’ll get round to doing one day, I thought I’d tell you about them.
Escape Room has just hit cinemas so check your local theatre for times. In it, some people with a very special connection are challenged to escape a hugely immersive escape room under the impression there’s a cash prize for whoever does. They don’t realise until they get in that is in, in fact, deadly.
What follows is about 60-70 minutes of fun and about 20-30 minutes where it turns a bit rubbish (and should probably carry an epilepsy warning). The writing isn’t going to win any awards, the characters are very broad stereotypes (The aggressive one! The higher functioning one! The millennial nerd! Etc!) and you won’t be finding the script very memorable either, however the set-ups are decently interesting in the main (the upside down bar room being a favourite) and the build-up and payoffs to each of the puzzles isn’t bad.
There is peril involved – yes characters die, sometimes horribly, but it’s not gruesome particularly – it’s not Saw. It’s not even Cube really, it’s Extreme Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. The ending is pretty open to the point where they could do a sequel if they wanted. I’m not sure it’s worth the effort of going to the cinema for, but it’ll certainly be worth a watch when it comes to streaming services.
I also watched Dave Made a Maze which has just come to UK shores after about 18 months in the US, we’ve mentioned it before. In it erstwhile loser Dave builds a cardboard deathtrap maze in his apartment whilst his girlfriend is away for a weekend, but the maze takes on a life of its own. What follows is a rather avant-garde 80-ish minutes with some brilliant set design and stop-motion, interesting ideas but characters I didn’t really care about to be honest and surprisingly I found myself losing interest, which is a pity. If you like films that play about with form though you’ll get something out of it.
I thought it was on Amazon Prime but that’s not the case, but you can set up a free week’s trial to Arrow Video’s channel through Amazon and then cancel it if you want. It’s also out on Blu-Ray and Google has it as well if you want to buy/rent.