Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Bad movie date night

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

There are few things I love more than seeing a really, truly stupid horror movie at the theater.

Horror is my genre of choice, and Iím particularly fond of the slasher sub-genre. But Iím not picky. If itís a horror movie and it seems far-fetched, Iím planting my butt in that seat on opening night.

Thatís exactly what Gideon and I did Friday night, after a riveting day of furniture shopping and visiting with friends. Our five-year wedding anniversary is coming up and weíve had a bunch of small celebrations over the past couple of weeks. Friday was our biggest date so far. We did an awful lot of mattress sitting before deciding to purchase a very expensive bed, the most expensive piece of furniture I have ever owned.

Then we visited our friends Perry and Holly for a little birthday soirťe. Many chips, salsa and sips of wine later, we were on our way to the Malco theater near Pinnacle Hills to see Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions.

If you didnít see the first in the series ó and you should, because itís a lot of fun óthe film revolves around a deadly escape room. Admittedly, weíve seen lots of new releases over the last few years with that same premise. Thereís a deadly escape room movie on every streaming service, each with its own production quality issues.

Having seen all these movies, I knew Escape Room 2 would be different. The first one had high production quality, the key to a great stupid movie. It clearly wasnít made by one of those companies that sells films to the SyFy Channel for a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Donít misunderstand me. I love those movies, too. Itís no secret that I have bad, sometimes catastrophic, taste in entertainment. I will sit through movies you wouldnít even notice while scrolling on Netflix.

But Escape Room 2 wasnít one of these network TV bad movies. No, it was a bad movie with fantastic sound and set design. The characters were fleshed out just enough that you really didnít want them to drown in quicksand or take an acid rain shower. You even started to root for some of them to survive, knowing the only survivors were the returning characters. Thatís just something you know deep down after watching so many of these movies.

The best part of the movie had to be the plot. It was one of those plots where you think the action is over, and then it turns out the characters are in yet another escape room. A character from the first movie returns. There are lots and lots of innocuous sentences that turn out to be a clue for the end of the movie. Right before the characters are thrown into their last escape room, we sit through a crazy stupid fake-out ending that was clearly set up from the beginning.

ďWow, that was amazingly bad,Ē I commented to Gideon on the drive home.

Normally I wouldnít spoil a movie like this, but I have a good feeling that most of you wonít be going to see Escape Room 2 on my recommendation. In fact, Iíd say most people are turned off from a film when its major redeeming quality is that itís absolutely the stupidest movie Iíve seen in a long time. This is the kind of review that would be insulting coming from anyone else, but from me, itís two thumbs up.

The measure of good entertainment isnít always what the critics have to say. For me, a great film is the kind you can laugh about all the way home. Itís something you look back on with fond memories, even if you can barely remember the plot anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, that makes a bad movie even better.