Mankurt Media,

Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, Jack Dalton, Danielle Safady, Annet Mahendru

Jim White (Ray Abramsohn) and his wife Emily (Elena Shuber) are staying in the Walt Disney World Contemporary Hotel and it’s the last day of their vacation when he gets a call from his boss informing him he has been fired. Jim sets his mind to having one more great day, so he decides not to tell anyone the news. They head off to spend the day in the park when Jim’s mind starts to slip and he gets badly sidetracked as everything seems to have changed. He’s attracted to two pretty french girls, but much more intrigue follows as it turns into a day from hell at the parks.

This indie film is a real piece of work! There are a number of things going on here. What to do if you’re going to make a pseudo horror film at Disney World? Well, the first thing you do is hire a lawyer. They got a really good one who is an expert in copyright law. First of all he assured them this film was protected because it’s satire. Secondly he advised them to not use a scrap of Disney music in the film. Then to get the background shots they made hundreds of trips to Disneyland mostly, but also Epcot and some areas around Walt Disney World. One of the side pleasures of this movie is figuring out which ones are filmed in which park. Then the actors and filmmaker went to the parks over and over again to steal the pirated shots inside the parks and on the rides. At one point, to get some of the scenes on It’s a Small World, they had the cast keep going back around and getting in line again, twelve times. They acted out all the scenes in the parks (and in front of green screens in some cases) with real people, and real Disney security all around. They planned to film the most critical scenes first, knowing that the whole bunch could have been tossed out and banned permanently at any moment. There are two commentary tracks on the DVD, and I will mention the second in a bit, but on the first track the director discusses the processes they went through to pirate this movie inside the parks. It was a challenge, but they were really only busted one time, and the story is on the commentary track, along with a lot of others.

As to the film. First, it’s black and white which is a bit unnerving in 2013. It’s got a “Night of the Living Dead” kind of creepy feel to it. It is certainly an “experimental” indie kind of film. There is a regular story to it, and it’s not so much horror as confusion and insanity to it, and some of the stuff that happens if soooo far out there, that you will wonder what they were really thinking. There are some very strange happenings here. I gave this film a 4 star rating because I was impressed with the weirdness of this film. It’s certainly not like any other. Many people expect it to be an attack on Disney. It’s not that at all, in my opinion. As a Dad, I know that a trip to the World can be a really stressful time, and this kind of bad news on the morning of the last day could make anyone snap! I’m not sure what’s real and what actually was in his twisted mind, but certainly it doesn’t matter as he’s lost his marbles, that’s for sure. The score is excellent, done to make is certainly sound like Disney without being Disney. If you think It’s a Small World is mind breaking after a while… gotta hear this film’s version. The nyah-nyah-nyah is downright impossible to wrap your mind around.

To finish the experience, the 2nd commentary track are Ray and Elena in character as Jim and Emily, settling in at home for a date night in. The kids are out with a relative, and they have rented a film to watch. It turns out that the movie they chose to watch was “Escape From Tomorrow” which is THEIR VACATION PICTURES taken by someone they didn’t know. So they are excited and flabbergasted to see that their vacation was so completely documented for them, but when Emily sees some of the parts that we saw, but she was not present for when it happened, she found out what Jim was up to during his long absences, and it comes as a shock to her. Being very wifely she attacks him for the way he looks at the French Girls, and acts like any wife would, getting more and more angry. I watched this film three times in one day. First I watched the movie, then I watched with the Directors commentary to find out how they managed to get this on film without being arrested. They actually told everyone to try to see it at the first showing at 8:00 at Sundance when it premiered because they were really never sure it would ever been seen again once Disney found out about it. But their lawyer was right, and no attack from Disney Legal ever materialized. Finally I watched it the third time with the second commentary track and saw the whole story in a new light with the actors portraying the characters watching this for the first time after having lived through it.

This film is going to do several things. Some people will love it for art’s sake and for the quirkiness of the story. Some people will deem it stupid, a waste of time, and recommend not watching it at all costs. The third group are Disney maniacal followers who are the ones that protest every time something Walt built is taken down for something new. They want Disneyland to stay the same as they remembered it as a child and are fanatically opposed to anything that might show a darker side to the beloved spot. Obviously I enjoyed the experience very much, as I watched it three times in a row. I enjoyed this a lot, but I understand it isn’t for everybody. If you are interested in the experience, for sure give it a chance.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Movie Review - Escape From Tomorrow (2013) {NR}, 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Leave a comment

Name: (Required)

eMail: (Required)