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Escape from Tomorrow

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Escape from Tomorrow
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Genre: Psychological Horror
Fantasy
Directed By: Randy Moore
Produced By: Soojin Chung
Gioia Marchese
Written By: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn
Elena Schuber
Katelynn Rodriguez
Jack Dalton
Annet Mahendru
Danielle Safady
Alison Lees-Taylor
Cinematography: Lucas Lee Graham
Distributed By: FilmBuff
Cinedigm
Release Date: October 11, 2013
Runtime: 90 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $650,000


Escape from Tomorrow is a 2013 American black-and-white independent fantasy psychological horror film written and directed by Randy Moore in his only directorial debut.

This film was actually shot at Disney's American theme parks (secretly, though, as Disney has a rule against filming movies at their theme parks) and even tried to include that as a selling point, hoping that Disney (especially given their satanic depiction in the film) would react angrily to the film for extra publicity. However, Disney wisely decided to ignore this film altogether and as a result, this film fell into obscurity instead.

Plot

Jim White is an unsatisfied middle-aged man on vacation with his family at Disney World. While his family frolics through the park and is enthralled with the sights and sounds of Disney, Jim finds himself inexplicably obsessed with two French teenage girls. The park environment soon turns to something more sinister as Jim uncovers its secrets. Jim must protect his adventurous kids, placate his suspicious wife, and defend himself against the so-called "happiest place on Earth".

Why You Should Escape This Movie

  1. Just like with Mother!, the main problem with the film is that it has no reason to exist. What was the whole point of the film? Is director Randy Moore making fun of Disney? Is he trying to make Disney sell Star Wars or something else entirely? The point of this film remains a mystery, leaving a highly nonsensical tale passed on as a movie.
    • However, according to Moore himself in interviews prior to the film release, is highly likely a combination of father issues (which later becoming more like a bad nostalgia for him) and disillusionment of the parks.
  2. The movie fails to properly use the Disney World setting and makes numerous, glaring inaccuracies.
  3. A confusing mess of a plot akin to David Lynch movies such as Eraserhead. However, unlike Eraserhead, this movie is weird and unsettling for all the wrong reasons.
  4. Jim is an absolutely unlikable and mean-spirited main protagonist, as he stalks other underage girls, abuses his family, and even cheats on his wife.
    • It was later even addressed by Randy Moore that Jim was not really a hero that the audience should root for, but more or less a jerk-ass anti-hero, due to his inappropriate actions he does throughout the film.
  5. Wooden acting.
  6. False Advertising: From the cover alone, one might think it's a 2D animated horror movie involving Mickey Mouse and his friends turning into bloodthirsty zombies judging from the bloodied hand on the cover, yet the movie is a black-and-white live-action movie that has nothing to do with Mickey Mouse. Another misleading header is that despite the film being called Escape from Tomorrow, it has nothing to do with the escape at all, nor does the majority of the film takes place only at Tomorrowland, as the story being between at Disney World (including Tomorrowland being appeared in few scenes) or its hotels, where Jim and his family stay at.
  7. The characters are incredibly mean-spirited and one-dimensional (except maybe for the evil ex-employee, who at least has some characterization), especially Jim (see WIS #4).
  8. Extremely obvious green-screen.
  9. Plot hole: So, since that ex-employee revealed she used to work at Disney World, over an accident, then why doesn't she get banned from their property, even as a guest, as given in real-life that Disney is internationally known by everyone, as when this film released, WDC has announced and start constructing their six theme park in Shanghai, China, instead just a nationally known, as for some reason portrayed here. As, she could've been booted out by the Park's security guards, instead of becoming the film's de facto major antagonist, that Jim and his daughter to face?
  10. Special effects wouldn't work in a few scenes, thus ruining the scene itself like poorly-edited black eyes on a few characters.
  11. Utilizes unconformable and shocking scenes/subplots like the aforementioned cat flu in the worst way possible.
  12. Although Disney is a harmless but occasionally controversial entertainment company in real life, the movie goes out of its way to portray them as being more evil than the Nazis. The director even went as far as comparing the company to a satanic cult in a behind-the-scenes interview. While there have been quite a few accidents at Disney World, they are not as frequent as this movie suggests.
  13. The movie feels more like an attack on Siemens, the engineering company, rather than Disney.
  14. Poor writing and terrible dialogue. Most notably, there's a scene where Jim describes Spaceship Earth as a "giant testicle".
  15. Filler scenes about people on the rides that drags on for too long and have no relevance to the plot.
  16. Lame soundtrack.
  17. The ending is both incredibly confusing and admittedly but surreally scary.
  18. There is absolutely nothing scary or even creepy about this movie, except for the ending. It feels more of a high-budget poorly made creepypasta video on YouTube.
  19. Continuity error: We see that Sara has completley blonde hair during the entire film. But in one shot, she has completley different hair.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The movie's black-and-white cinematography, although done for budget reasons, is similar to Clerks, is actually good at showing the movie's horror element.
  2. Even though the soundtrack is lame, the songs themselves are rather mixed and a few songs are actually good.
  3. The evil ex-employee has a ridiculous but decent backstory to explain why she's evil, by over-hugging a child to death, has lost her job in the Disney World.
  4. The premise of an adult horror film inside the Walt Disney Parks sounds pretty interesting, spite the plot or the movie itself was a waste for some person brief and blaming the parks, for his life is ruined.

Reception

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 56% based on 87 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Conceptually audacious but only intermittently successful in execution, Escape From Tomorrow is nonetheless visually inventive and darkly surreal." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 58 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

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