WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Escape Room, in theaters now.
Escape Room isn't just about one room, it's about a number of them. Director Adam Robitel capitalizes on the real world trend and pits his film's participants against a clever Game Master, forcing them to overcome various lethal challenges lest they end up as victims rather than survivors.
Of course, not all escape rooms are created equal. Here, we rank the various rooms that make up the movie's lethal maze, pushing everyone who's competing to their extreme limits.
6. THE CRUSHER
This room is the one seen at the beginning and very end of the film. It's an art room consisting of books, paintings, ornaments, statues and a bunch of other historical items, which must be used to come up with a code for a sliding puzzle. As this happens, the walls of the room compress, so the longer you take, well, it's a crushing experience.
In order to prevent the room from killing you, a four-digit code is needed. Of course, being in the room as it's walls close in creates a truly harrowing experience for those inside.
5. THE OVEN
Before everyone enters the mysterious escape room in Chicago, they're seated in a lounge with a secretary's voice over the intercom. As they grow anxious, they quickly realize this isn't any ordinary waiting room. Despite the fancy furniture, magazines, coffee machine, water cooler, etc., it's the very first challenge.
Eventually, we learn it's a big oven, with heaters having been turned on. To escape, people must place weights on coffee table's coasters in order to keep a latched door open. This secret door leads to a shaft which is also a trap in itself, as folks with claustrophobia can get stuck. And, when a coaster isn't weighed down properly, the door acts as a guillotine. It's imperative that folks find a way out, though, because within 10 minutes, incinerators descend to burn the room to the ground.
4. THE PSYCHEDELIC TRIP
This room preys on your mental stability, its walls painted with mind-bending designs. There's a sole latch leading to an exit, but holding it actually results in your hands touching a substance that makes you hallucinate. It's a full-blown LSD experience, which makes it next to impossible to follow the instructions and find the lone vial of antidote in the room.
This means you'll have to kill anyone else with you, a task made all the more difficult by the fact you're tripping... hard! With hallucinogens running through your system that render you near immobile, fighting isn't the easiest thing to do, especially when it's to the death.
3. THE HOSPITAL
Here, the sole survivors that are part of the overall challenge find their accident records and hospital rooms recreated. It's all part of destabilizing the competitors' minds, indicating the villain wants to see who's the "luckiest of the lucky" and which "statistical probability" will make their way out.
The participants must decode their x-rays, which leads to an EKG machine where a certain heart rate will gift them an exit. Defibrillators can be used to increase your heart rate, but the kicker is that it's a low rate required to escape the room. This means the coolest, most composed person is the key -- however, the room is poisoned in order to elevate the codemaker's heart rate, thus making escape near impossible.
2. THE BAR
This room's initial challenge is that the entire space is upside down. Basically, you're on the ceiling and you're looking up at the ground aka the pool table, juke box, bar, etc. Participants have to do their best Spider-Man impression and scale the walls, scouring for clues so they can get a code for a safe which contains the exit door's doorknob.
It ends up being a game of musical chairs; whenever the jukebox cuts off, the roof begins to fall, hundreds of feet, to the ground. Navigating this, jumping all over the place and seeking the code, which can be found on anything from posters to bottles to pool balls, is enough to leave competitors contemplating suicide.
1. THE TUNDRA
This room poses the most threat to contestants. It's an outdoor setting that puts all participants on a frozen lake. The first threat is, of course, the lake, which the Game Master has rigged to explode so contestants can fall in. That, combined with an extremely powerful manmade underwater current, means that once you're in, you'll most likely drown.
The temperature's dropping to sub-zero, too, which increases the risk of hypothermia, and that doesn't account for the cryogenic blasters which can make the room colder or directly freeze people to death. The only way out is by using a fishing line to pull up an ice cube from the bottom of the lake, a task that's easier said than done as the surface is rock solid. In order to extract the escape key, the people involved must use their body warmth to melt the ice, thus surviving the film's most complex challenge of all.
Adam Robitel's Escape Room, starring Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, Jay Ellis and Nik Dodani as Danny, is in theaters now.