Release Date: January 18th 2013 (Sundance)
Directed by: Randy Moore
Written by: Randy Moore
Cast: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Annet Mahendru, Danielle Safady, Alison Lees-Taylor
Mankurt Media, Producers Distribution Agency, FilmBuff, Cinedigm, 90 Minutes
Escape From Tomorrow was a film I had anticipated seeing when I first heard about it. All I knew was that it was filmed within the walls of Walt Disney’s theme parks, guerrilla style, unbeknownst to the Disney Corporation. The fact that they could film an entire movie, minus a few scenes, within the park and go undetected by security was certainly a feat. Good or bad, I wanted to see how this picture worked. Additionally, once the trailer finally dropped, the images intrigued me.
I saw this the first day it officially dropped last October. I watched it again last night after it popped up on Netflix because something about the first viewing intrigued me and I wanted to revisit it.
It isn’t a great film by any means but it certainly has something that left me wanting to see it again. The visual style is almost perfect. The black and white presentation, as opposed to going color, gives one a different and unusual view of things that are all too familiar. It presents the colorful and happy Disney parks in a new light that takes the lightheartedness away in exchange for something that seems slightly sinister and unnerving. The only weakness in the film from a visual standpoint is some of the green screen work. It was obvious, as to which scenes were shot on green screen. However, the disjointedness of those scenes also added to the uneasiness of the film. Almost as if it was intentional.
The acting wasn’t great but it also wasn’t bad. It was really just average. Although the actress who plays the wife was pretty damn horrible as a person but I guess, considering her character, she just did her job. The main character Jim, handled his scenes well but didn’t really standout. The cast all looked kind of ordinary and felt like ordinary people, which worked for the vibe of this picture. There were no standout performances but that was fine.
Now a lot of people online have been incredibly critical of this film and there seems to be a coalition of those who vehemently hate it. I’m not sure what they were expecting and they can try and pick on a film that is flawed, due to the circumstances of how it was shot, but I found it to be pretty well done. Especially considering how they had to sew the thing together.
A lot of people have complained about the ridiculous story and how it “doesn’t make sense”. Frankly, I don’t care if it makes sense or not. In some regard, it really isn’t supposed to. It is a wild film with a lot of hallucinatory situations, which are really left open for interpretation. The ending is strange and somewhat ambiguous and the strangeness is never really explained or elaborated on. But that’s the thing, it doesn’t need to be. Look where the story takes place. This all happens in the bastion of childhood imagination, as seen through the eyes and experiences of a grown man who is completely losing it. The film is a crazy trip but it was a crazy trip I enjoyed.