Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far 13 Cult Films About Cults 13 Cult Films About Cults The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Review: Shot In Secret, Mind-Melter 'Escape From Tomorrow'

The Playlist By William Goss | The Playlist October 10, 2013 at 4:27PM

We’re not sure why writer/director Randy Moore decided to come swinging out the gate with a first feature like “Escape from Tomorrow,” and frankly, we’re not entirely sure how he got away with even making it in the first place. Much of this dark, utterly bizarre comedy would appear to be covertly shot on the property of Orlando’s Walt Disney World, and despite Moore’s strident avoidance of the dreaded D-word, there’s little doubting that the Mouse House and all it represents is in his sights.
0
Escape From Tomorrow
"Escape From Tomorrow."

We’re not sure why writer/director Randy Moore decided to come swinging out the gate with a first feature like “Escape from Tomorrow,” and frankly, we’re not entirely sure how he got away with even making it in the first place. Much of this dark, utterly bizarre comedy would appear to be covertly shot on the property of Orlando’s Walt Disney World, and despite Moore’s strident avoidance of the dreaded D-word, there’s little doubting that the Mouse House and all it represents is in his sights.

On the last morning of a Florida family vacation, Jim (Roy Abramsohn) receives a phone call, telling him that he’s been let go from his job. He keeps this information to himself, content with simply rushing his wife (Elena Schuber) and kids (Jack Dalton and Katelynn Rodriguez) out the door for another day of brutal humidity and endless lines. Amid the mind-numbing grind of making memories stroll two young French girls, giggling and gallivanting around the park, clearly causing Daddy to pine for a visit to Lolitaland.

Escape From Tomorrow

However, things seem slightly off to Jim. He starts to see demonic figures on the rides. He keeps losing his children and running into the same scooter-bound cretins. The park nurse seems awfully sensitive about the possibility of visitors contracting “cat flu.” What is it with the Asian businessmen hitting on all the princesses? And just what are those turkey legs made out of anyway?

Moore’s movie may not seem to make much sense – visitors unwittingly look into the camera, green-screen work is used to duplicate the park experience, and the story is frankly bugnuts throughout – but he does set up bits at the beginning that do come to pay off in ridiculous ways, and cinematographer Lucas Lee Graham pulls off the commendable feat of shooting the film with some margin of legitimate composition in spite of the crew’s apparent guerrilla antics. Furthermore, composer Abel Korzeniowski (“A Single Man”) was somehow enlisted to contribute a score of unlikely grandeur that suits the surreal aesthetic contrasts of squeaky-clean Disney and middle-aged madness nicely.

Escape From Tomorrow

Thrust smack in the middle of most every scene, Abramsohn handles the story’s unlikely demands with aplomb. Looking like the missing link between Ciarán Hinds and Ken Marino, he has a suitable everyman appearance and few apparent qualms about performing to an unwitting public. Whether his character is shit-faced at Epcot or leering shamelessly at the aforementioned teens in the Magic Kingdom, he conveys appropriate amounts of realistic parental panic as easily as he does oversized outbursts, maintaining just a sliver of haggard determination along the way.

As for how this nightmare unfolds, well, you’d hardly believe us if we tried to describe it. Beyond the simple absurdity of a courtesan screaming out “Find my hidden Mickey!” during sex or the slap-in-the-face timing of an intermission, the Polanski-like madness of 'Tomorrow' clearly stems from some of the very real frustrations that families are met with in the face of overwhelming corporate homogeneity. This potential cult classic may be a bit on the sloppy side, but it’s fairly clear to us that Moore very much gives a damn about not giving a fuck. [B+]

This is a slightly edited reprint of our review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
 

This article is related to: Reviews, Review, Escape from Tomorrow


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates