Movie Review: Escape From Tomorrow

 

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Escape from Tomorrow is a film that I have been interested in seeing for quite a while. The plot of the movie seemed interesting but that wasn’t what attracted me to it. It was how first-time writer and director Randy Moore shot the film.

The film follows a man and his family on vacation at Disney World. But Moore did not gain the rights to film on The Walt Disney Company premises. Instead, he use guerrilla filmmaking tactics to get the movie completed. Actors had scripts on their phones to rehearse and the crew used handheld cameras to record the movie. The idea of doing this fascinated me and I had to see the results.

And while I still appreciate how Moore got this done, I was very disappointed with the movie overall. The movie follows Jim and his family on the last day of their vacation. At the start of the movie, Jim receives a call from work and gets fired. This horrible start to the day is only the beginning. Jim’s wife Emily and their two kids, Sara and Elliott, have to deal with Jim as he starts to become delusional and begins stalking two teenage girls around the park. Jim’s strange behavior causes friction between the family, with the movie ending and Jim apparently dead from what the movie calls the cat flu. But as his body is being removed from the theme park, another Jim arrives with a woman he dreamed of earlier in the day.

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A little lost? So was I. The movie made a hell of an effort to be a unique, mind-warping thriller, but I think the story goes too many different directions and loses it focus. The hallucinations Jim has a done well and made me feel uneasy at times, but the entire part about stalking two teenage girls was really disturbing. He followed them throughout a good portion of the movie and it was creepy. I think a little less of that would have been much better, at least for my viewing.

I respect and appreciate how Moore accomplished making this film. It must have been hard to film this without any Disney employees finding out and that took some courage. My hat goes off to Moore for that, but I was disappointed by the bulk of the movie and feel like it could have been so much more. Escape from Tomorrow is a movie like some of the amusement rides in Disney World. It had too many twists and turns and loops to follow where it was going. The effort was great but overall I was let down.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.

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