Jordan Claire Robbins, Theo Rossi, Shane West, Tahirah Sharif, Elena Juatco, Julian Fender
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Six strangers suddenly awaken in a remote, endless cornfield. Stripped of their possessions, they are left with only six items: a gun with a single bullet, matches, a lantern, a knife, a compass, and a flask of water. As mysterious sirens blare in the distance and traps appear at every turn, the group realizes it’s been plunged into a cat-and-mouse game with an unseen evil, and survival depends upon solving a diabolical and deadly puzzle.
If you take the premise of CUBE and put it in a large cornfield maze, you get 2022’s ESCAPE THE FIELD - a movie that’s nowhere as entertaining as the film that I mentioned. It’s unfortunate because this movie had my interest for the first two acts with a mystery that had me wondering what was going on in terms of the situation.
Who is behind this sick game?
How are these six strangers connected?
Why do certain characters have certain items on them?
Why are some of these characters acting shadier than others? Are they part of the game?
These questions had me intrigued for much of the film, despite characters not having a ton of depth or interesting aspects to them besides their behavior within the game. Then, the third act happens and just destroys all momentum and interest I had in ESCAPE THE FIELD. Important characters start to get less screen time for whatever reason. There’s a random monster versus monster fight that’s not really established. In fact, why this game was even happening is never explained! The movie never bothers to provide a real answer to what’s going on, making me wonder why I even bothered for 90 minutes. If the game was an experiment, what was the reason? Why six players? Were the monsters survivors of previous games? Like anything would have been nice!
The screenplay is so bare bones that it makes me sad because other aspects of the film weren’t that bad. The direction by Emerson Moore was pretty decent, considering much of the film took place within a cornfield. I thought the cinematography at times was beautiful and things were shot very well. And the actors - especially Jordan Claire Robbins, Theo Rossi and Shane West - were all believable in their roles, trying to do their best with what they were given [which wasn’t much].
It’s a shame ESCAPE THE FIELD turned out the way it did, especially since it grabbed me at the beginning and just petered out by the halfway point. When a mystery doesn’t provide the answers you’re looking for, what’s the point? ESCAPE THE FIELD by watching something else more worth your time.