Escape From Tomorrow
By Tom R. (@ThomasRiccardi1)
When people think of the Disney theme parks, they see a place of youth, innocence and fun. But what if there was something a bit more sinister behind this place? What if the longer you stayed the more you saw this dark side of this park? That is the premise behind the latest film entitled Escape from Tomorrow.
The premise behind the film sounds amazing, as you were going to make a film about Disney without their consent. The film was shot guerrilla style and the producer even went as far to edit the film in South Korea. So, when the film was released on ITunes, I plunked down my $12.99 waiting to be whisked away on a magical journey.
Now, this review is going to reveal more than a few spoilers, so if you intend to see this you need to stop reading this article now.
The film opens as we see Jim on the balcony of his room at the Disney Contemporary Resort. He gets a call from his boss who tells him he is being laid off as his boss hangs up on him. Instead of trying to ruin the last day of vacation for his family, he hides it from them and they go downstairs. While riding the monorail into the park he spies two young Parisian girls. At first, he notices them around the park but then it becomes an unhealthy obsession over them.
As he and his family ride “It’s a Small World” Jim starts to get some disturbing visions. The dolls and artwork seem innocent one second and demonic the next. At one point they split up as Emily takes their daughter, Sara and Jim takes their son, Tim, still chasing after these girls. He follows them everywhere and eventually takes his young son onto Space Mountain which causes his son to puke. This results in a fight between the couple as Emily takes the son back to the hotel and Jim takes his daughter.
Jim still looks for these girls and finds them as they go to “Tom Sawyer’s Island”. While on the island his daughter, Sara gets away from him only to be knocked down by a bigger kid. Taking their daughter to the nurse she asks them how they are feeling. They respond that they’re doing ok and the nurse reminds them of the mysterious cat flu going around. That someone can be a carrier and not even know it.
Making their way back to the park Sara finds a playmate while Jim relaxes on a bench. He is approached by a woman who strikes up a conversation with him. As he notices the glint of light coming off the broach she is wearing he blacks out. He wakes up to having sex with this woman he just met.
Jim makes a hasty retreat from the hotel room to go back to the Contemporary Resort. He finds his wife and daughter in the pool and surprise, the Parisian girls are there as well. He starts to get a bit bolder but is stopped when asked if he put sunscreen on Sara. He replies “no”, which triggers another fight as well as killing his libido.
The scene shifts to World Showcase as Jim is drinking heavily, carrying on and acting really stupid.. Sara notices finally that Jim has an infatuation with the two Parisian girls getting into another fight. Emily takes Tim back to the hotel while Jim and Sara go on the Soarin’ ride. While on the ride Jim sees naked images of a woman projected on the screen. After the ride Jim, is approached by one of the girls he has been chasing and asked to go with them. When he refuses the girl spits in his face and it flashes to an intermission. He is held in a detention center underneath spaceship earth and is interrogated about his imagination. The interrogator remarks how he has a vivid imagination like Uncle Walt.
After making his escape from this hidden facility, he searches for his daughter. Making his way back to the woman’s room he finds his daughter re-enacting Snow White. Thinking that his daughter is dead Jim, confronts the woman and smashes the amulet. Grabbing his daughter he rushes out and makes his way back to the hotel. He starts to feel sick as he goes to the bathroom and starts to bleed and puke up hairballs.
The next morning his wife finds him dead in the blood stained bathroom. He has the eyes of a cat. As a van takes Jim’s body away another car pulls up and someone that looks like Jim steps out with the woman projected on the from the Soarin’ ride and his daughter. The movie ends after this revelation leaving us to think about what we just sat through.
The premise sounded really well but this whole movie was pulled off pretty poorly. At the start of the film you start to care about Jim when he loses his job. But after that you seem to care less as the characters seem to be mean spirited either towards each other or just in general. The kids are spoiled brats; the adults are mean to each other and their kids so why should we care what they’re going through?
Also the story has gaping plot holes that are never explained. Jim has blackouts and it’s hinted that it has happened before but why? Images change from cute to sinister in the park and it’s hinted that it’s this place but what is the cause? There are so many things hinted at but never explained or gone into detail and it feels as if they were throw away elements to the story.
This whole movie was shot in black and white and I guess that was from a film standpoint. But at points it suffers from it as you can see night scenes, fireworks in black and white. Gone are the vivid colors that you would see walking down main street and I felt as if they dulled the experience.
This movie for me was painful to watch and I felt cheated out of my $12.99. There are going to be some independent film critics that will herald this as the best movie ever. But for me I think it was a waste of time and money and it was hyped way too much for what it is. With muted colors, a pointless plot and even a humours death for the main character this made me retch at this piece of celluloid. My advice to people who are thinking of seeing this is think twice especially if you’re a fan of Disney. I love the parks and while it was great to see some of the rides on camera it was worse that it came wrapped in a story that no one cared about.
2 out of 5 stars.