Egads. I had high hopes for this despite the fact that the critical reception was lukewarm at best. An horror film shot illegally at the happiest place on earth? I’m in! As someone who had a less-than-magical experience at Disneyworld a couple of years ago (it was hot, I was tired, and my meds needed adjusting,) I was excited to see what director Randy Moore would cook up.
But ultimately, despite a great premise and a promising preview, “Escape From Tomorrow” goes straight in the toilet. There’s something to be said for weird for weird’s sake, but “Escape From Tomorrow” has no plot arc, no direction, and no point except maybe to shock you into thinking it’s something more than a badly done piece of ca-ca. “Bowels of entertainment” indeed.
The plot- a middle-aged schlub named Jim (Roy Abramsohn) finds out over the phone that he is fired on a family trip to Disneyworld. He doesn’t tell his nagging wife or his small children, but promptly afterward he starts drinking heavily and seeing things. If the director had stayed on one track (a drunken midlife-crisis-induced trip into psychedelia) this could have been great. Instead, with pointless scenes of projectile shitting and overt visual references to masturbation, I don’t even know what he’s getting at.
First of all, the characters of the French girls Jim was ogling and Jim’s wife, Emily (Elena Schuber) were unbelievably annoying. The girl’s giggling and flouncing around made my head hurt. But it was Emily who surely should be put on the list of ‘most annoying movie characters of 2013.’ She was so grating with her ‘Jim, you bought me the wrong figurine’ and ‘Jim, you’re drunk’ and ‘Jim, you’re ogling those French tarts aren’t you?’ (true, but still annoying.) As the place takes a hold over Jim much like the Overlook took over Jack Torrence, Jim’s wife increases in pitch and urgency until you wish Jim would take the kids and leave her at the hotdog stand.
Jim was annoying too, and I didn’t really care what happened to the characters as long as the movie just ended soon. I mean, who stalks and stares at a couple of teenage girls right in front of his young son? I know men have urges and get sexually frustrated, we all get sexually frustrated, but Jim’s unchained libido was accompanied by a steady dose of stupid.
Furthermore, the script seemed like something a 13-year-old with a dirty and distractable mind could have written. Is it science fiction? If so, it’s not very good. Is is scary? No. Is it funny? I laughed a couple of times, once when the Asian businessmen were feeling up the princesses. Above all, it doesn’t go ANYWHERE. It simply hangs over the audience like a putrid cloud of decay.
I like weird films, edgy films, whatever. And like the adventurous tourist at the Japanese seafood buffet, I’m willing to try anything. But what the hell is this. It’s weird all right. It’s not as edgy as it thinks it is. It’s fucking STUPID. If you want to make a list of movies NOT to watch this year, start with this one. You’ll thank me later.