May 6, 2022 Escape the Field (Movie Review)
Cliché alert: there is no time like the present. It can feel like we are out there running in circles, trying to figure out answers to questions we do not even know. Maybe, perhaps, we could say dropped into a field, with no idea what to do or where to go. That is the place where we find ourselves in the new Thriller Escape the Field, available via In Select Theaters, On Digital and On Demand as of May 6, 2022 through Lionsgate.
The feature directorial debut from Writer-Director Emerson Moore, Escape the Field features an ensemble cast thrown into the disorienting conundrum above. It is kind of like 1997’s Cube in an endless cornfield…well not quite, but at ground level. Here the assorted characters come from all walks of life. Sam (Jordan Claire Robbins: Supernatural series, The Umbrella Academy series) is a nurse, Tyler (Theo Rossi: Cloverfield 2008, Army of the Dead 2021) is a blue collar guy, and Ryan (Shane West: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2003, Gotham series) is a military veteran. You get the drift yet? Everyone is confused and on edge… including us, the audience. As our group aims to solve the puzzle of their open air prison, they find themselves under assault by an unseen force.
The big issue with stories like this is that are we given a chance to care about these people as they face [insert extraordinary circumstances here]? That in mind, Escape the Field honestly does not give us much. There is a handful of dialogue meant to sketch out who these people are, but beyond that? They are just running around trying to not die and get out. That is fine, but your investment will vary. It is not just the characters who are sketches, though. The story itself is pretty bare bones. There are hints throughout as to the larger picture beyond our group’s grasp. Overall, Escape the Field feels out to set itself up for a sequel where more will be revealed. Then probably more after that. And after that.
An ambiguous story does not have to be an issue, but if it does not make much of an effort to involve the audience in the characters’ plight beyond perfunctory nods, you better at least give the audience something they can take from it. Escape the Field tries, but does not quite succeed. That said, at a trim 89 minutes it does not overstay its welcome and is perfectly adequate. For that, Cryptic Rock gives Escape the Field 2 out of 5 stars.