Escape (2024) 

When they are taken to be sold, a group of women plot together while being held captive. Once a few of them make it out, it’s a race for survival. 

Written and directed by Howard J. Ford, this thriller has plenty aspect of horror and a story that is fairly tightly written and directed if a little predictable. Unfortunately, the story is one that is far too familiar with a bunch of other similar films coming to mind throughout, seemingly taking inspiration from these films or from the same sources as these films. While it is predictable and incredibly familiar, it is also decently entertaining. It’s not the best of the best in terms of story, but it’s not the worst either. It’s the kind of film that takes the familiar and turns it into something still familiar but good.  

The performances here are where things work the best with lead Sarah Alexandra Marks (as Karla) giving a solid performance as both a victim and a fighter who is not going to let anyone take her life or sell her. She’s solid here and makes the most of the film, showing the viewer that once something predictable gets in the right hands, it can really be something interesting even though it’s not new. Joining her is Sophie Rankin as Lucy gives her more emotional version of a girl who wants to survive while still showing signs of being a badass. Head bad guy Sean Cronin does well in the creep/might end you or sell you/slightly unhinged department. His performance is a bit extra at times, but it works. 

The cinematopraphy by Travellian Skipaldi works well here, putting drones to good use without turning it into “We Have Drones – The Movie”. The camera work here, from above and on the ground, is great and really makes the most of the filming locations. The creepy, dank basement where the ladies are kept is shot in a way that gives it personality while still being dark yet well-lit enough to see all we need to see, the outdoors look beautiful at first, then desolate as the story needs. The work but Skipaldi is calculated and well executed.  

Escape is a thriller worth checking out even with predictable story points and characters. The performances and the camera work really sell the story here and make it a film that is easy to sit down and watch, keeping the attention throughout.