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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on Escape from Tomorrow

escapefromtomorrowThe fantasy/thriller Escape from Tomorrow, is the infamous film, which gained some notoriety when it premiered at Sundance, due to the fact that it was primarily shot guerrilla-style at Walt Disney World, without the consent of Disney.  The plot of the film follows Jim (Roy Abramsohn), who is on vacation at Walt Disney World with his wife Emily (Elena Schuber) and two kids.  The stress of being at the theme park takes its toll on Jim and he spends much of his day being distracted by a pair of attractive young French girls he sees around the park.  However, it quickly becomes apparent that something is not right at the greatest place on Earth, as Jim begins having nightmarish hallucinations and he encounters many weird individuals.  Jim quickly begins to realize that bad things happen everywhere.

At the very least, I have to say that Escape from Tomorrow is an achievement in guerrilla filmmaking and I consider it quite amazing that director Randy Moore was able to shoot an entire feature film at Walt Disney World without being caught.  However, once you get past the method it was shot, it quickly becomes apparent that Escape from Tomorrow doesn’t really have any substance to it.  In some ways, the guerrilla style was the film’s downfall, since it seemed obvious that the actors couldn’t really do much plot development when shooting on the fly.  Indeed, most of the scenes that do give pertinent plot information were either shot in front of a green screen or on a set.  That begs the question why the filmmakers even had to shoot a film guerrilla-style at Disney World at all?

The goal of Escape from Tomorrow seems to be saying that, while Walt Disney World is a whole lot of fun for kids, it is not really all that fun for the parents.  Throughout the day, Jim has to deal with his kid’s arguments about what ride to go on, waiting in long lines, and even being chastised for buying a Dumbo pendant, instead of a Minnie Mouse one.  It’s no wonder that the visit literally becomes a nightmare for Jim.  While this premise might sound good on paper, Escape from Tomorrow somewhat fails at its execution.  The nightmarish images in the film are few and far between and aren’t even all that scary.  Eventually it gets to the point when the film just gets plain weird and even resorts to sexual innuendo and toilet humour.

Apparently the reason Disney is allowing Escape from Tomorrow to be released is that they don’t want to bring an unnecessary attention to what is still just an independent art-house film.  The big mouse just hopes that the film will just go away and I am inclined to agree with them.  Even though it is quite interesting to hear how the film was made, as a whole, Escape from Tomorrow is a complete waste of time.

4 | DISAPPOINTED

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).