A nightmare isn’t a wish your heart makes. “Escape From Tomorrow” is a black and white indie film directed by Randy Moore. The cast are complete unknowns and the plot is nonsensical and makes for a very surreal experience. Jim is at Disney World with his family. He receives a phone call on their last day that he has been fired from his job. He doesn’t tell his family the unhappy news as he wants them all to enjoy their last day of vacation. The family is shown wandering through the park, riding all the different rides when Jim starts to experience horrific nightmarish visions around the park. After following two young French girls in a daze of pedophilia, Jim’s visions come true and horrific consequences follow in a disturbing reality-based dream in the darkness of Disney.
“Escape from Tomorrow” is a very interesting film when you look at how the movie was shot. Randy Moore shot the entire film guerrilla-style because they wanted to keep the attention away from Disney. They had no permits and could not use Disney’s intellectual property so the entire movie was shot under the radar. The scripts were all on iphones and the video cameras looked like regular canon cameras that visitors take to the parks. The actors even looked like tourists so the entire film was undercover and hidden from Disney. The process and painstakingly hidden shoot results in a very surprising and interesting film that leaves audiences scratching their heads in confusion. The plot makes no sense and I don’t think it really is supposed to. To me, this is a surreal film that can have multiple layers and meanings which reminded me of David Lynch’s first film “Eraserhead.” Think of “Eraserhead,” at Disney World. There are a lot of similarities between the two. The most obvious being the main character Jim, who is a middle aged man frustrated with his life. There is sort of a psychosexual theme found in both films but it plays more obvious in “Escape from Tomorrow.”
The actors while being complete unknowns did a pretty descent job here. The main character was pretty good as well as his shrill wife. The kids were really standouts here. The kids did a fantastic job in this movie and I give a lot of props to whoever cast them. Elliot especially. That kid was sweet, adorable and at other times extremely creepy. A lot of things could have gone really wrong with this film but the kids held it together and did a fantastic job. The actors pulled off this shoot pretty nicely and they added a lot to this muddled story. I guess the biggest weakness of the film is the story. I still don’t have a clue what was going on, especially during the last half hour of the movie when everything becomes completely surreal. I’m not sure if that’s what the director was going for but for me I was very confused by the end of the movie and that’s its biggest fault. The problem with surreal films is that they can lose a lot of audience members and this film definitely will.
In saying that, I found a lot of merit with this film and I appreciate the great lengths that Randy Moore went through to get his story told. I think this is a very bold and experimental film which not many filmmakers do today. I think Moore has a lot of talent and I would love to see another film that he decides to make. “Escape from Tomorrow” is an inventive surreal experience that is beautifully shot and rendered at the cost of indie filmmaking. The cast of characters do a great job at trying to piece together this puzzle of a film which ultimately doesn’t pay off. However the look and feel of the film is something new, exciting and fresh and the themes and weird Lynchian moments might be enough for film fans to dig.