Um, where is it that I should start with this movie? It's, um, unique, I'll say that. It's very interesting too, yes, yes. It's, um, odd also. Very very odd. Escape From Tomorrow follows the story of Jim (Roy Abramsohn), a father who's visiting Disney World with his family. Upon arriving at their resort he's told that he's fired from his job, causing him to enter into a state of depression that he insists on hiding for the sake of his family's holiday. As they venture throughout the park Jim's mind begins to wander off, leading him into a bunch of, um, interesting scenarios. Yeah, they're, um, interesting.
Escape From Tomorrow hasn't been received well, and that's understandable. It's most definitely not for everyone. It's almost like a blend of one of those found-footage horror movies (pick any one, they're all practically the same thing) and a Stanley Kubrick film. It's a complex, psychotic ride. This film is weird, if I haven't made that clear already. It's undoubtably too weird for some, combining odd visuals with haunting cuts, resulting in one hell of a movie. The film was made without Disney's permission, secretly filmed by the cast and crew while security wasn't looking. Obviously, this has stirred up a great deal of controversy, but I honestly think that this film is worth watching just for that reason alone.
The film's screenplay, although slow in pace, is highly original and incredibly intriguing. Like I just said, if Stanley Kubrick were alive today he would be all over this film. For those who've fortunately seen a Kubrick film (please tell me that you have), you'll know this his films are always multi-layered, dark, frightening, original (mostly) and outstandingly well written. Escape From Tomorrow falls under all these categories. It doesn't hook you right away, or it certainly didn't for me, but as the film goes on it just gets weirder and weirder and weirder. We're taken on a journey throughout Disney World with a man who's mind is constantly wandering off or creating fantasies. We have no idea if anything we're seeing is real or if we're simply loosing our minds too. Although I don't intend on ever seeing this film again, it's one that I think I'll get more out of when rewatching.
The screenplay may need no extra work, but the effects and acting does. To be fair, this film was made on a small budget, and so they presumably didn't have access to a lot of big budgeted special effects, and I get that. I understand what that does to a film, but for Escape From Tomorrow is simply doesn't matter. The film is so unique, off-putting and brilliant and so I didn't mind if a few of the haunting effects look noticeably fake. I did, however, mind that some of the acting could use some touch ups. Nobody in this film gives a great performance, they're all either fine of average, nothing that manages to stand out.
To sum up, Escape From Tomorrow is most certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but I, myself, found it to be a highly original, frightening, complex and very Stanley Kubrick-like. It's, um, unique, and that's all you really need to know.
3 1/2 Stars