Today I have guest blogger and host of Modern Mouse Radio Josh Taylor for an Escape from Tomorrow movie review. This film has gotten quite a bit of press and social media presence due to the clandestine filming inside Disney World, but does it hold up on its own as a worthwhile movie? Let’s find out.
“ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW” HAD THE GUN BUT NEVER PULLED THE TRIGGER
Ever since praise for Randy Moore’s daring attempt at a movie about adultery and psychosis got big praise at the Sundance film festival back in January of this year, Disney fans have had Escape From Tomorrow burrowed in the back of their heads hoping that it may end up in theaters or on their television sets sometime in the near future. Fast forward to September and we started to get the buzz. This little film that could was hitting theaters in October and the trailer gave us great hope for a psychological thriller and exploration into the dark side of Disney. So I bought my tickets, got to the theater for my local premier in Denver, and was amped up for a film I didn’t know much about and what I got was completely different than what I had expected.
Before delving into my thoughts, I do have to give credit where it’s due. Randy Moore and company set out to make a debut film at Walt Disney World and Disneyland which 90 percent of this movie is shot in. The only trouble is they never asked for permission, probably under the assumption that they would be denied the right to shoot a film about a man on the edge of psychosis lusting after underage girls. So they shot the film without anyone knowing. That in itself is an awesome effort. I applaud the cast and crew for having their shots and lines down while seemingly shooting things that made sense on the fly as well.
This film had tons of buzz and within the first 15 minutes had promise. The film filled it’s revolver with bullets left and right. The family is falling apart, Jim (our leading man played by newcomer Roy Abramsohn) loses his job, begins lusting after two French teens, and is seemingly losing his mind. The movie starts to take off when the family is riding It’s a Small World where hallucinations become the name of the game and they are all done very well. From here we see Jim take off with his son Elliot as they follow the two teen girls onto every attraction.
This is where the film falls short. Moore and cast, with a fully loaded revolver in hand, never take the shot. It’s a film that takes you on a journey into nowhere. Just as the film seems to take us into this horror driven film of psychotic meltdowns, it turns into a B movie parodying itself. Just when the B movie stuff gets funny, it takes a strange twist towards science fiction. Then we get 30 minutes of Jim and family acting pretty normal. During the first 15 minutes we build towards a movie that never really kickstarts and by the end of the film, I felt like I watched someone’s awkward family vacation home video.
Escape From Tomorrow really isn’t an escape at all. It’s rather dull. For me, the film seems to be more of an achievement for Moore to shoot a film without getting caught. The plot is lost and the characters are never well defined, but the backstory of how this film was made is the only real story to tell. It’s unfortunate because had it taken off in any one direction of the many that the film starts but never finishes, it could have been excellent. Whether it was a horror, B movie, comedy, thriller, or science fiction film, it would have been a film I would recommend to everyone, but it’s none of these films. It’s just a statement made by a film maker trying to do something different to standout.