When I first read about Escape From Tomorrow I knew it was a movie I had to see. The idea that writer/director was able to sneak his cast and limited crew into Disney World and shoot an entire film without the powers that be at Disney finding out about it. It’s a pretty high gimmick, but the question is if the film can stand up outside of its gimmick alone.
Jim and Emily (Roy Abramsohn and Elena Schuber) are taking their children Sara and Elliot to Disney World. The day starts out rough when Jim finds out that he’s lost his job, but he doesn’t want that to ruin his family’s day. They head into the park and start enjoying the rides. Things take a turn for the worse when Jim starts freaking out on It’s A Small World. I couldn’t help but think of Lisa drinking the water in that Duff Gardens episode of The Simpsons.
Jim sees these two young nymph-like French girls that he comes obsessed with and spends too much time following around. When Elliot wants to go on the Buzz Lightyear ride Jim and he get in the long line to ride it, while Emily and Sara go off to enjoy several less popular rides. Jim slowly continues to delve into madness throughout they day and towards the end Emily even begins to feel some of the strangeness of the day. However, to tell too much about this would be to spoil it, suffice to say, things get really strange.
This is a very bizarre film that seems to be about a man going through a midlife crisis, but also seems to be about lot more, most of which is left to viewer interpretation.
This is very obviously a low budget film, but it had to be. This is guerrilla filmmaking at it’s finest. There are many really great shots of Disney World in Escape From Tomorrow, and it’s all shot in a stark black and white which presents the park in a way it’s never been seen before, and adds perfectly to the creepy overall tone. The other thing that adds to the creepiness of the film is the beautifully composed score that manages to capture the essence of the music of Disney World without being directly from there.
What it comes down to is this: Escape From Tomorrow is a very, very strange movie. Either you’ll go along for the ride or you’ll be utterly confused the whole way through and wonder why you watched it. Well, to be clear, either way you’re going to be confused, but if go along for the ride you won’t mind that you’re confused.
The film is presented in a widescreen format and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. This is a really great looking film for the way it was shot and the budget it was shot with. It’s got a great sound too.
You get two commentaries. The first with Randy Moore and Cinematographer Lucas Lee Graham and the second with lead actors Roy Abramsohn and Elena Schuber in character. The first is interesting, but doesn’t really answer any of the questions you’ll have after watching the film. The second is really interesting and funny in its own way. There is also a great Making Of. Sadly, there are no deleted scenes, which there are obviously tons.
Randy Moore has done something no one as ever done before and most likely will never do again. Is the best movie that could be made shooting at Disney World? Probably not, but it’s the best we have now and if you’re a Disney fan then this is absolutely a film you need to see, whether you like it or not. Personally I enjoyed it and look forward to watching it again, though I know not everyone will feel about it the way I do.
Mankurt Media presents Escape From Tomorrow. Written and Directed by Randy Moore. Starring: Roy Abramsohn and Elena Schuber. Running time: 90 minutes. Rating: Not Rated (though contains vulgar language, sexuality and nudity). Released: April 29, 2014.
Tags: Disney World