I finally saw Randy Moore‘s Escape From Tomorrow late yesterday afternoon. Set entirely in Disneyland and shot in black-and-white, it’s basically a riff on The Shining with a vein of social criticism about pudgy, desperate, flabby-brained Americans indulging themselves with sugar, booze and fantasy while corporations control and exploit them like cattle. Is this not the central middle-class affliction of the 21st Century?
The Shining parallels: (1) Weak, economically strapped dad has (or has had) an alcohol problem; (2) Dad and family submit to extended stay within a large, imposing, surreal realm (hotel/theme park) with gradually revealed ghosts and sexually tempting witches preying on dad, exploiting his barely suppressed lusts; (3) for spooky reasons two young girls openly invite a major character to come and play; (4) Dad succumbs to drink, is wounded and bloodied, goes loony and staggers around until the hotel/theme park finally eats him up and takes his soul.
Escape is definitely an interesting sit. It’s brave, absorbing, original as far as it goes, subversive, occasionally funny, and it has a thematic point. I was never bored and was/am glad I saw it. I hope that it finds some way to be seen by Joe Popcorn. I’m presuming that Disney attorneys will do what they can to block it.