Release date: October 11, 2013
Written and directed by: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber and Katelynn Rodriguez
Official website: escapefromtomorrow.com
Are the little animatronic people on the "It's a Small World" ride inhabited by demon souls? Do the Disney Princess cast players really moonlight as escorts for rich Asian businessmen? Maybe so but maybe not. Either way, the daring new indie sensation "Escape From Tomorrow", wants to take its viewers on a nightmare ride into the hidden world of Disney theme parks, but the journey into this rabbit hole is mostly ridiculous.
This bizarre and obsurd film revolves around Jim (Roy Abramsohn), a family man who finds out he has lost his job via a phone call while on vacation with his family at Disney World. But it's nothing a trip to the happiest place on Earth can't fix, right?
Right away, Jim begins slipping into madness as he loses touch with reality. As he tunes out his family, and the demon faces he sees on rides, he begins a perverted and obsessive fascination with two very young French girls. This is about where the film becomes a voyeuristic absurdity. As anyone who has been on a family vacation to a Disney park can attest to, the day can really take it's toll and Jim finds himself on a downward spiral that involves a witch, scheming dream manipulators working secretly within Epcot, and a deadly disease.
Filmed in secrecy at Disneyland and Disney World, writer and director Randy Moore and his crew shot the film with handheld cameras with scripts on cell phones. It sounds like something a bunch of high school kids would do and the film plays that way, with the plot flip-flopping back and forth between Terry Gilliam-esque weirdness and plot points that are just plain ridiculous. Some of it is just weird for the sake of being weird and most of it never makes any kind of sense.
It's a daring move, attempting to shoot a film like this in such a hush-hush way, but the film clearly shows the wear of a film that began as something small, maybe even a "hey, let's see if we can do this" but took on something else entirely once they pulled it off and started to get some attention. It's a shame, because there is a lot that could have been done with the idea that there is more going on at Disney Parks than meets the eye, but Moore seems more interested in delivering something bizarre than he does in connecting all the dots.
"Escape from Tomorrow" is sure to get its share of press because it was filmed on Disney properties against Disney's knowledge and Disney is known to be extremely protective, not to mention litigious. It's easy to applaud the audacity that the filmmakers had to stage such an elaborate and secretive film production right under the nose of the great and powerful Walt Disney, but it would have been put to better use with a script that asked more daring questions.
Movie goers who like to watch something weird, twisted that are a little out of touch with reality might get a kick out of this flick, but it's a sloppy and very uneven film, that can only really boast they shot a movie at a Disney Park and got it released in theatres.
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