| Horror| Mystery | Thriller |
Director: Adam Robitel
Producer: Neal H. Moritz
Writer: Will Honley, Maria Melnik, Daniel Tuch, Oren Uziel
Release Date (Theaters): Jul 16, 2021, Wide
Runtime: 1h 28m
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is the sequel to the box office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world. In this installment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly uncovering what they have in common to survive… and discovering they’ve all played the game before.
Despite a slightly too-familiar plot arc, this scant sequel nonetheless offers some cool, intricately designed puzzles and likable enough characters to create a satisfying punch of white-knuckle fun. Again directed by Adam Robitel (the original Escape Room and Insidious: The Last Key), Escape Room: Tournament of Champions borrows an idea from the second Hunger Games — all the survivors must re-assemble to compete — but, given that the villains of these movies are part of a mysterious, unseen, unknown entity, it works well enough. And after spending a bit too much time getting Zoey and Ben on the road, things kick up a notch.
The traps — on the subway train, then in a mysterious bank, on a postcard-like beach, on a city street, and more — are indeed tricky. Despite their frenzy, with characters racing against the clock and shouting at one another, often above either some kind of ominous noise/the music score, the little clues make sense, and the puzzles come together in interesting ways. Every small move could be right or wrong, and these sequences, which make up the majority of the movie, are real seat-grabbers. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions could have tried a little harder on its ending, but there’s still enough here for a tense, fun watch.