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HORROR

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions | Review

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Ever since escape rooms became a big hit in real life and people couldn’t get enough of being locked in a room, having to solve puzzles to escape, it was only a matter of time before screenwriters took the idea and turned it into a horror film. And that’s exactly what happened. Over the past few years there have been a great number of films titles Escape Room or revolving around the idea of an escape room with a dark and deadly twist to it. But only the 2019 film Escape Room directed by Adam Robitel received a sequel in the form of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions.

Don’t worry if you can’t remember which film called Escape Room this is a sequel to because the film opens with a recap of the events of the first film, almost like you’re watching the “previously on..” section at the beginning of a TV show. The film sees Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller) who narrowly survived the escape room in the previous film and now they’re out to bring justice to the evil corporation known as Minos and put a stop to their dastardly murders.

The two arrive in New York City and are unexpectedly trapped in a subway carriage with four other people and much like the previous film, they must escape from a series of complicated and deadly escape rooms or face death. The twist this time around, as the title suggest, is that all of the people trapped in the room are the winners of previous escape rooms and this is now a tournament of champions.

The set-up feels much more contrived this time around and the whole thing really verges into the realm of being incredibly far-fetched and unbelievable, far more than the first film ever did. But if you’re willing to go with it Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is an absolute blast of a time and even better than the first film.

In the words of one of the film’s characters “We play the game, or we die”. It’s as simple as that. And if you’re happy to go along with it, Tournament of Champions is a gripping rollercoaster thriller ride that doesn’t stop until the very end when the credits start to roll.

Whilst not as gory as the Saw franchise, the Escape Room films definitely take inspiration from the former with each of the different rooms having some deadly twist to them. But whereas in Saw you watch the traps for the bloody murders, in Escape Room, you’re entertained by all the deadly rooms because of the intelligent ways the characters discover to escape. You hold your breath as the clock counts down to their imminent death, on the edge of your seat, hoping they solve the puzzle to escape the room.

The rooms feel more intricate and the puzzles harder to solve this time around but that only makes it even more tense. The whole film is packed full of suspense as you don’t know who’s going to live and who’s going to die. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is a heart-racing thrill ride that manages to up the thrills, the suspense and the intensity of all the rooms.

However, much like the first film, it does go a little off the rails as we approach the film’s denouement, and the writers try to tie everything together. The ending does make it feel a bit too cheesy and does put a bit of a damper on the rest of the film, but because of how thrilling the rest of the film is, you can just about get passed that.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is a thoroughly engaging and thrilling film that will have you engrossed and entertained right up until the very end and if you’re willing to look past the film’s incredibly contrived and far-fetched plot, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a great time with this film.

★★★★☆

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions is released in cinemas on Friday 16th July.

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HORROR

When Evil Lurks | Teaser Trailer — In Theaters October 6th, 2023

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When Evil Lurks Movie Poster (IFC Films)

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie material being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Genre: Horror

Release Date: 6 October 2023 in theaters / 27 October 2023 on Shudder

Director: Demián Rugna

Writer: Demián Rugna

Distributed by: IFC Films & Shudder

Production Companies: Shudder, Aramos Cine & Machaco Films

Cast: Ezequiel Rodriguez, Demián Salomon, Luis Ziembrowski, Silvia Sabater & Marcelo Michinaux

Plot

The residents of a small rural town discover that a demon is about to be born among them. They desperately try to escape – but it may be too late…

When Evil Lurks Official Teaser Trailer (IFC Films)

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HORROR

Thanksgiving | Official Trailer — In Theaters November 17, 2023

After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the infamous holiday.

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The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie material being covered here wouldn’t exist. 

Genre:

Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Release Date:

November 17, 2023

Director:

Eli Roth

Cast:

Patrick dempsey, Rick Hoffman, Gina Gershon, Addison Rae

Plot Summary:

After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the infamous holiday.

 

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HORROR

Talk To Me Delivers A Real Scare, Hands Down!

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Talk to Me Movie Poster (A24)

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie material being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Plot

When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.

Sophie Wilde as Mia (A24)

Movie Review

The movie starts off with quite a shocker, leaving you with a few questions. It doesn’t take too long to get into the action and soon you realize you are in for quite a scare. In a nutshell, the movie is about a group of friends playing a timed game where the communicate with the dead using an embalmed hand, and allow the dead to speak through them, with the emphasis on timed. However, as with all rules, some end up broken, and when the game goes on a little too long things go south, resulting in far reaching consequences. The main protagonist in the story Mia plays this game of talking with the dead, while at the same time working through the loss of a loved one as well. As a viewer I experienced her feelings of grief and it felt real because her performance was just next level.

Both Sophie Wilde and Joe Bird‘s performance as Mia and Riley really grips you, making the feelings of fear on-screen real for the audience. The make-up and effects throughout the movie was really done brilliantly. The ending delivers a unique twist making you hungry for more action and story. The cast really brought life in a horror story focusing around the dead.

Talk To Me (A24)

There is no post-credits scene, so no need to wait to the end. Trailer is amazing and delivers an even greater scare and doesn’t spoil any important parts of the movie. My rating for Talk To Me is 5 out of 5. Talk To Me is a bone-chilling supernatural horror that delivers a real scare on-screen, hands down. I’m all for seeing a possible sequel of Talk To Me one day, or even a prequel where the origin of the embalmed hand is unpacked. But the movie is still brilliant as a stand-alone movie.

Make sure to catch it at a cinema near you or watch online.

Talk To Me Official Trailer (A24)

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