Directed by Will Wernick, who also directed 2017’s Escape Room, No Escape (also known as Follow Me) is a spiritual successor of sorts to that film, and was released in 2020. In an attempt to scare social media influencer Cole (Keegan Allen, Pretty Little Liars), Cole’s friends — Dash (George Janko); Samantha (Siya); Cole’s fiancé, Erin (Holland Roden); and childhood best friend, Thomas (Denzel Whitaker) — take Cole to Russia, where he is to participate in a live-streamed escape room experience, tailor made to give his millions of viewers a show they’ll never forget.
+ the plot takes all the cues from Escape Room (2017) and escape rooms in general, as well as Hostel, Saw and every other ‘attractive twenty-somethings die in gruesome ways only you masochists watching could enjoy’. It also takes a lot of inspiration from one other (slightly older) movie with a plot so similar you’d think this may be a remake, which obviously I won’t name here. For me at least, the plot is nothing new, but it still has a few fun story moments
+ unsurprisingly, Cole (Allen) gets most of the screen time, and he is certainly fun to watch. I know of Allen from various other bit roles alongside his turn as Toby in Pretty Little Liars, and despite my overall not really caring for the movie, he was not a reason for that. The rest of the cast were nothing particular good, bad, or otherwise
– straight up, anybody who has seen any of these sort of movie will predict it all from the beginning. I was not surprised by anything at all that happened, up to and including the ending. The fact that this movie’s plot is almost verbatim from Will Wernick’s previous movie is kind of funny
– on a personal note, I am not a fan of Youtube content creators or social media influencers, so I found it very difficult to feel any sympathy for these characters. Anyone that streams their entire lives deserves nothing but misfortune (that’s mostly a joke — I just didn’t care for the characters)
Should you see this film: This was a perfectly competently made film, and if you have not delved too deep into the thriller/psychological horror backlogs, this might be something you’ll enjoy. For me, though, it was too similar to stuff I have seen before. I feel a bit bad boiling my entire thought on this movie down to how similar it was to other things, but as mentioned, director Will Wernick has made two almost identical films at this point.