Movie Review: Escape the Field

Escape the Field movie review (2022) | Roger Ebert

credit: Escape the Field

I’ll come out and say it, this movie kind of felt like another Escape Room, but outdoors and with a much larger space in which to roam. That’s not to say it was a horrible movie, it was actually quite interesting since being stuck in a cornfield is nothing new in a movie, it’s a common location that can still be horrifying for a number of reasons. If one has ever walked in a cornfield, they might be able to feel the sense that something is watching, that they’re isolated, cut off from the world beyond the stalks.

Some might debate this and state that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and they’re usually right. But in a horror movie, a cornfield can be absolutely terrifying since the simple rustling of a few stalks can mean danger or be used to heighten the suspense and the belief that something might not be right. This movie might remind a lot of people of In the Tall Grass, and there are similarities, but this movie does manage to take its own story and create a story that’s kind of fun to watch. 

Watch Escape The Field (4K UHD) | Prime Video

credit: Escape the Field

The setup is familiar but still unique enough to work. 

People waking up in a cornfield without knowing where they are, how they got there, or why this has happened is a story that’s happened in the past, but it’s still something that is interesting enough to think about from more than one angle. Waking up in a strange place is bad enough, but waking up with a random item on your person or nearby is even worse since it implies that there’s a purpose to the situation that one might not understand, and for some, this is just as bad as being abducted, since giving a person a purpose that they don’t understand and can’t possibly guess at is like creating an itch that a person can’t scratch no matter how they contort their body. Trying to figure this out would drive a lot of people nuts, especially since the next point would be absolutely true of a lot of folks who found themselves in this position. 

Mistrust is to be expected in a story such as this. 

Just think about what it would be like to wake up disoriented, without any memory of how you arrived in this strange location, and with no idea who the people you encounter are. That would be frightening all on its own, but when faced with a couple of individuals who appear to be less than friendly and are actually more prone to be antagonistic, things would only get worse.

The movie does meander a bit when it comes to showing how the group of strangers is lost, but this does work toward the goal of showing that the group is in deep trouble and is part of something that is bigger but completely unknown. The strange dummies that are seen in the cornfield are definitely creepy, but their purpose becomes a little clearer after a while. 

Escape The Field - Rotten Tomatoes

credit: Escape the Field

The clues are obscure enough, but the end result is a little confusing. 

A gun, a lantern, matches, a water flask, a knife, and a compass. All of these are useful items, but apart from other utilitarian use, the symbol that they all carry makes it easy to guess that there’s something bigger going on and that as impossible as escape might appear, there are clues that make it seem as though the people might be able to escape at some point.

Even after finding the clues and how to use each item to find their way around, the confusion continues since there’s still the question of how to make it all work to get them out of there if that’s even possible. Seeing the desperation continue to mount is bad enough, but when one of them is injected with something that begins to alter his state of mind, it becomes even more dangerous. That might be a bit contrived, but at the same time, it’s able to push the story forward in the manner that’s needed. 

The fact that this story could lead to another movie is intriguing, but one hopes that it wouldn’t happen. 

It was kind of expected that this movie would end in the way it did since the culling of the individuals from the group was bound to happen at some point. But as two of the group find their way to what looks like a control room, it makes sense that the game and the unseen attacker in the cornfield would both become more aggressive.

There is a setup for a sequel, without any doubt, but it’s a big hope that such a thing wouldn’t happen since it might cheapen the whole idea of an already mid-tier movie. If done correctly, it would be an interesting idea, though. 

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