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2.5 out of 5

by Tim

Escape From Tomorrow is a movie that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.  For those of you unfamiliar with the movie – it’s a movie that was illegally filmed inside Disney World (and Disneyland). Apparently they bought tickets into the park and recorded scenes during each visit – sometimes riding on the rides twenty plus times to get the proper shot.  So obviously this is a lower budget movie – but was it any good?  

Follow along as a family of four (Jim, his wife and two kids) visit Disney World during a family vacation gone wrong.  There’s an unknown force of evil surrounding Jim and his family – haunting every step Jim takes in the park.  

The movie opens with many shots of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride itself (one of their many popular rides – and one of my personal favorites).  The opening sequence ends unexpectedly when a fellow Disney patron gets decapitated near the end of the ride.  Big Thunder Mountain Railroad isn’t the only ride you get to see during the movie, many of Disney World’s (and Disneyland’s) famous rides are featured in the movie. And let me tell you by experience, it’s not easy filming these rides.  You not only need an extremely steady hand and a good camera, but you need knowledge of what’s coming up in the ride… so these filmmakers definitely did their homework ahead of time to get the shots that they did.  Other rides featured in the movie are: Dumbo, Small World, Winnie the Pooh, The Tiki Room and many others.  All shot professionally, but missing all the original music (for legal reasons I’m sure).

When I think of lower budget movies, I think of poor acting. That wasn’t the case for this movie. In fact, I think they did rather well – even the kids.  I was pleasantly surprised.  And that goes for the special effects too, the few it actually featured looked great and worked effectively for the tone they were trying to set.  I highly enjoyed the effects they added to the It’s A Small World ride to make it a spooky / demonic experience instead of the cutesy ride that it is. 

The premise of the movie is fun and creative, but the movie is only an hour and thirty minutes long – and it took an hour to really get into the story.  And the story was weak and somewhat confusing.  If they were going for a David Lynch type of ending (Mulholland Dr. / Lost Highway) – where you’re not quite sure what happened – then they nailed it. But I felt it was a weak ending for a somewhat promising premise. 

My final thoughts: Being an avid Disney and Disneyland freak – I think I enjoyed this movie more than most people will.  The shots of each ride were shot professionally – the acting and special effects were really good.  But the story could have been stronger and less confusing or cheesy.

**Disclaimer** - This movie is not indented for children and does feature some language and nudity.