Top Rated Escape Room Movies
Escape Room movies have become incredibly popular in recent years. The concept of being locked in a complex environment and having to solve puzzles and challenges within a limited amount of time to escape is exhilarating. It’s no wonder why escape room movies are often some of the most exciting films released each year.
The basic premise for an escape room movie usually involves a group of strangers who are all locked in the same room, seemingly with no way to escape. They must work together to solve clues and riddles within a certain amount of time in order to unlock the door that will set them free.
Escape Room Movies Explained
Escape room movies, as a genre, combine aspects of survival games and isolation horror films. At its core, an escape room movie revolves around a group of individuals confined within a room or building, compelled to unravel puzzles or riddles to secure their freedom. While many escape room movies intensify the suspense by incorporating time constraints, traps, and the threat of fatal consequences for failure, these elements are not strictly obligatory.
The subgenre of escape rooms in film emerged in the late 2010s, but its origins can be traced back to video games. In 1988, a text-based adventure game called “Behind Closed Doors” was released for the ZX Spectrum. Players assumed the role of someone trapped in an outhouse, tasked with solving a simple puzzle to open the door. However, it wasn’t until over a decade later that the escape room game format, also known as “room escape,” gained significant popularity. Browser-based flash games like “Crimson Room” and its numerous imitators, released in the early 2000s, firmly established escape rooms as a beloved indie game genre.
The enduring popularity of escape-the-room video games has sparked the creation of real-life escape-room attractions. According to Market Watch, the first of its kind was called “Real Escape Game,” which debuted in Japan in 2007. The concept quickly gained traction worldwide, with the first escape game facility opening in the United States in 2012. As the phenomenon continued to captivate audiences, escape rooms made their way onto the big screen. Drawing inspiration from successful films like Cube (1997) and Saw (2004), escape room movies delved into the realms of horror and thriller genres, heightening the stakes and introducing captivating mysteries and interpersonal conflicts.
The Most Iconic Escape Room Movie
Saw (2004) is one of the most iconic escape room movies. It follows a group of people who are kidnapped and chained in an abandoned warehouse with seemingly no way out. Each person must complete a series of deadly tasks in order to survive, but they soon discover that their captor has far darker intentions than just escape. This movie popularized the concept of Escape Room Movies and spawned a franchise with several sequels. It also created an entire horror sub-genre, the “torture porn” genre, that has been used in countless films since. It is our opinion that the original saw is one of the best escape room films ever made.
The Best Escape Room Movies
Cube (1997) is an exceptional independent sci-fi film that can be seen as an early precursor to the well-established escape room movies of later decades. In Cube, five strangers awaken in a cubic room without any recollection of how they ended up there. As they navigate through the room’s doors, they quickly realize they are trapped in a labyrinthine maze where each room is almost indistinguishable from the next.
The only discernible distinctions between the rooms lie in their colors and the presence of perilous traps in some of them. While Cube may not immediately evoke the conventional notion of an escape room, the puzzles come into play as the group uncovers that unraveling a series of numbers within each room might hold the key to their potential escape, if escape is even attainable.
Saw II (2005)
Saw II (2005) belongs to the Saw series and can be properly classified as an escape room subgenre film. It intertwines two plot threads that converge in the end. One-half of the movie follows the capture and interrogation of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) by a police detective (Donnie Wahlberg). The other half focuses on a group of individuals trapped in a house filled with intricate traps and enigmatic riddles.
Unlike the straightforward traps in the rest of the Saw series, the traps in Saw II form part of a larger puzzle that must be solved. While Saw II falls short of matching the quality of its predecessor, the final few minutes deliver enough surprising twists to make the entire film worthwhile.
Jigsaw (2017) aimed to rejuvenate the Saw franchise, which had already explored its intricate plot threads to the fullest. Although Jigsaw, the eighth installment, doesn’t bring much innovation to the Saw formula, it still manages to captivate fans of the series. As with nearly all the saw movies, Jigsaw juggles between individuals unraveling traps and the investigation determined to halt the sinister games.
A group of six strangers must collaborate to solve a series of life-threatening puzzles and riddles in successive chambers. While some traps rely on chance rather than deduction, the movie as a whole exudes a thrilling escape room atmosphere. Naturally, there are twists at the end, some of which prove intriguing, while others may leave one feeling somewhat unjustly treated. Yet, that seems to be the trajectory of many Saw films.
Fermat’s Room (2007)
Fermat’s Room (2007) is a captivating Spanish film that takes place within the confines of an increasingly suffocating escape room. Four brilliant mathematicians receive an invitation to gather and tackle an enigmatic mathematical challenge. Upon reaching a secluded location, they discover they are trapped inside a room.
Confronted with a series of intricate problems, they must solve them within a specified time limit, or face the ever-narrowing walls that threaten to crush them. As they unravel the mathematical mysteries, they must also uncover the connections binding them and devise an escape plan. Fermat’s Room offers an intriguing enigma and remains an underappreciated gem within the escape room subgenre.
Breathing Room (2008)
Breathing Room (2008) is a low-budget thriller that draws inspiration from multiple movies that preceded it. Similar to Cube (1997), the film revolves around a group of strangers who awaken in a room and must decipher clues to secure their escape from a killing room. It also bears a resemblance to Saw (2004), where the group’s capture seems connected to their past misdeeds.
Additionally, it shares elements with Battle Royale (2000) as participants are compelled to wear lethal collars, with only the last survivor granted freedom. While Breathing Room may not introduce groundbreaking elements to the escape room, survival game, horror movie, or battle royale subgenres, it remains an enjoyable watch for enthusiasts of such films.
Escape Room (2017)
In 2017, escape room attractions were booming in the United States, attracting the attention of independent filmmakers. Two movies, both titled Escape Room, were released that year. The first film featured Skeet Ulrich, known for his role in Scream, as an escape room host who introduces a mysterious box with a dark history to terrify his guests.
To enhance the haunted-house ambiance, an actor wearing a burlap mask is added to the room. However, once the escape room begins, the actor seemingly becomes possessed by the box and attempts to actually harm the participants. Taking place primarily in a single room, Escape Room is a thrilling choice for fans of isolation horror seeking a touch of genre excitement.
Escape Room (2017)
The second movie from 2017 titled Escape Room takes a more grounded approach than the Skeet Ulrich film of the same name and year. The movie is about a group of friends who go to a high-priced, exclusive escape room to celebrate the birthday of Tyler (Evan Williams). Many of the friends have secrets they are keeping from each other, and this helps add some tension when they inevitably discover that the games in the escape room are deadly. This film has been rightfully compared to the Saw series in some aspects, but the continued use of puzzles sets it firmly within the escape room subgenre.
Panic Room (2002), directed by the master of suspense, David Fincher, is an intense and gripping thriller that certainly has its place in the escape room subgenre. The movie centers around a mother and daughter, Meg (Jodie Foster) and Sarah Altman (Kristen Stewart), who move into a New York City brownstone equipped with an ultra-secure panic room. However, on their very first night, they find themselves facing a trio of burglars and are forced to retreat into the panic room.
The crux of the film lies in the ironic twist: the burglars want something that is hidden inside the very room where Meg and Sarah are hiding. The film effectively employs the escape room concept, with the characters needing to devise a clever plan to both stay safe and escape their confinement. With its high-stakes plot and Fincher’s expert tension-building, Panic Room is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
Escape from Marwin (2018)
In the film “Escape from Marwin” (2018), five death-row inmates are presented with an opportunity to secure their freedom. They find themselves confined within the walls of Marwin Mansion, a daunting edifice, with a limited time of 40 hours. The stakes are high: discover an exit and survive, or remain trapped and face certain demise.
Promotional materials for “Escape from Marwin” explicitly reference the popular phenomenon of escape rooms, alluding to the thrilling suspense and intricate puzzle-solving that await. Brace yourself for a captivating yet low-budget production, where characters’ choices are put to the test, blurring the line between right and wrong.
No Escape Room (2018)
No Escape Room (2018) is an enjoyable escape room movie with a supernatural twist. Michael decides to bond with his teenage daughter by taking her to an escape room attraction. What starts as a playful afternoon of puzzle-solving quickly turns into a terrifying ordeal. Alongside the other participants, Michael and Karen encounter a mysterious presence that threatens their lives.
They must work together to unravel the mystery of the escape room before they become its next victims. While some viewers may find themselves disoriented by the unpredictable twists of No Escape Room, the finale is skillfully executed and offers a unique experience within the genre.
Escape Room (2019)
Released during the height of the real-life escape room craze, Escape Room (2019) may appear to some as a mere attempt to capitalize on the trend. However, this cynicism aside, the movie proves itself to be an enjoyable experience, offering a compelling blend of drama and engaging puzzle rooms.
The plot follows a familiar premise found in many escape room movies: six individuals gather, believing they will engage in harmless fun for a chance to win money. However, they soon find themselves trapped in a series of life-threatening escape rooms. One of the film’s notable strengths lies in its talented cast, each delivering impressive performances amidst absurd circumstances. Equally impressive are the meticulously designed and memorable rooms, accompanied by puzzles that engage viewers, encouraging them to participate alongside the characters in search of solutions.
If you’re in the escape room spirit looking for real-life escape rooms then come check out The Basement. Escape rooms fans love our intricate puzzles. So far, we have had hundreds of escape room fans go through our rooms and so far everyone has made it out!
The Basement offers two different escape rooms. The first is a horror-themed room called “The Basement“. It starts off with the group being locked in a small room filled with puzzles and clues. As they make their way through the puzzles, they discover a much darker mystery lurking beneath the surface. The second is a room called “The Study“.
Both rooms feature interactive elements, digital puzzles, brain teasers, and hidden objects. With an experienced staff ready to help, our escape rooms provide a complete, immersive experience that is sure to challenge and thrill escape room enthusiasts. So why not come down and see for yourself? We guarantee you won’t be disappointed so call or contact us online today!