When worlds collide: Hollywood vs Escape rooms

Fiction often inspires real-life and vice versa. In a world where escapism is rife and where living through a pandemic has often felt like your personal disaster movie, hitting play, sitting back and getting lost in another person’s story is a breath of fresh air. 

Films and Escape Rooms share a variety of ingredients that get you hooked. Whether that’s the grittiness of a thriller where you need to see beyond what the characters are seeing and solve the mystery before the final minute, or figuring out the classic “who-done-it” story, the lines quickly become blurred between the two. 

So what happens when these pivotal entertainment worlds collide? Let’s find out:

The Belko Experiment (2016)

In this James Gunn penned horror thriller, a typical day at the office quickly turns into a brutally twisted social experiment. A voice cuts through the PA system and instructs the staff to kill two people within the next half an hour. The cost if they don’t? More will lose their lives at the flick of a switch. 

Metal shutters and walls seal off the building. Time quickly slips away in this kill-or-be-killed game. While some turn to their friends for help, others become the enemy. Upper management takes the homicidal initiative, while the potheads at the bottom of the corporate pile mess things up for everyone. 

Who will survive? And who will lose their lives? 

While you’ll never have to actually murder anyone in an Escape Room, you can see the parallels. Do you have what it takes to choose wisely against the odds? 

Squid Game (2021) 

Netflix’s number one smash hit Squid Game has taken the world by storm. While the plot wrestles between social allegory in the face of uncompromising violence, it’s the adrenaline pumping, all or nothing story that takes the lives of the 456 players to the next level. 

Cunning, sheer nerve, and let’s face it, the pure will to survive the odds place this “death game” masterpiece in Escape Room-esque territory. 

With six terrifying “death games” to beat, including Red Light, Green Light, Tug of War and Glass Stepping Stones, would you have what it takes to push yourself to the limits to survive? 

Want to know more? You can discover how to beat every game in Squid Game here

Saw (2004)

An oldie but a goodie, we first meet the latest victims of the Jigsaw Killer in a dank, filthy and claustrophobic bathroom. The two men, Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannel) and Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes), awake to find themselves chained to the grotty pipes at either end of the room with a dead body at the centre. 

Each of them has specific instructions to kill the other or face dire consequences. As the film progresses, they realise they have been trapped by the sadistic serial killer, Jigsaw, and have to complete his perverse puzzles to live. 

While this horror unfolds, Gordon’s wife and child are forced to watch his torture via closed-circuit video. 

See any parallels? While you definitely won’t be facing death at the hands of a serial killer, using your logic and skills to crack codes and master puzzles is all part of the game. 

Cube (1997)

Six strangers wake to find themselves trapped inside, you’ve guessed it, a giant cube with glowing walls! In a classic plot twist, they are assigned a particular skill and can only escape if they work together. The catch? Their journey will take them through an unceasing maze of deadly traps, including each player becoming a test subject for chemical weapons. 

The team of six comprises a police officer (Quentin), a doctor (Holloway), a mathematician (Leaven), an escape artist (Rennes), an architect (Worth) and an autist (Kazan). While some characters meet their doom, sacrifice themselves or betray their team, it is the survivors who stand victorious. 

While it’s unlikely you’ll turn on your team in one of our games – as you’re ultimate goal is to make your escape unscathed!! – you will each have a specific skill set that will help you solve the room. 

Panic Room (2002) 

In this classic home invasion story, Meg (Jodie Foster) and her daughter Sarah (Kristen Stewart) retreat to their brownstone’s panic room, a hidden chamber built securely within their home in the event of a break-in. 

As the game of deadly cat and mouse unfolds, it turns out the three intruders, Burnham (Forest Whitaker), Raoul (Dwight Yoakam), and Junior’s (Jared Leto) primary goal is to break into the panic room for what is hidden inside. 

While the intruders carry our brutal, unmerciless acts throughout the film for the sake of the bearer bonds hidden in the room, they have to essentially perform a backwards Escape Room!

Escape Room (2019)

Escape Room is not only aptly named, but the whole film revolves around the premise that six strangers seeking adventure travel to a mysterious building to experience an escape room. While there, they have to solve a series of puzzles to win the cash prize of $10,000. Sounds simple enough. 

The innocent, fun game quickly turns into a sinister, living nightmare. The players soon learn that each room is home to an elaborate trap that will decide their fate in this sadistic, blood0curdling game of life and death. 

Devil (2010) 

Night Shyamalan’s films often divide audiences, and 2010’s Devil is no exception. So let’s set the scene:

A detective is called into a high rise office building in downtown Philadelphia. Five people are trapped inside an elevator. They soon start to quarrel in the heat of the moment as claustrophobia and fear begin to set in, then the lights cut out. When they come back on, one is found dead. 

As the plot progresses, each of the five trapped employees begins to die one by one as the rescue team frantically try to rescue them. One of the security guards concludes that it’s all the work of the Devil as time runs out. 

While you’ll never face certain death or be put at risk in an Escape Room, these Hollywood gems show all the signs of a classic game. Are you up for the challenge?