‘No Escape Room’ is a Supernatural Puzzler


Director Alex Merkin is bringing his style to SyFy’s annual 31 Days of Halloween block with No Escape Room. The filmmaker knows how to construct a good thriller and those talents are put to use in this ghostly puzzler.

“I think it feels different from the more classic horror films you usually see this time of year,” Merkin told iHorror. “Its kind of a Psychological Horror film if that makes sense.”

He directed last year’s House of the Witch which also played with this idea, but with a supernatural touch.

As in Witch, Merkin sets the action inside a house where once again he delves into history and lore.

“We wanted to play with the idea that this house where the escape room was set up has a unique history to it – built and designed around the turn of the century by a man obsessed with the idea of bridging our world with the one beyond.”

For those who don’t know, escape rooms are a current trend in cultural entertainment where groups of people pay to be locked in a room and given clues to find a way out before time is up.

In his film, he says the house in which it’s set is an elaborate device itself; a “piece of clockwork filled with a macabre collection of devices, artifacts, and relics that have been used throughout the centuries to contact the dead.”

Merkin joins House of the Witch writer Neil Elman to bring to life this tale of mystery. And they’ve done their research. The story introduces its characters to cultural techniques used to contact the dead from psychotropic plants to old radios that may be a direct link to the things on other side.

“Everything inside seems intended to boost or amplify the spiritual connection,” says Merkin.

But this revelation is initially lost on the team of friends who have entered the mansion until they begin to realize they might be being plied with puzzles to set something else free.

“As they solve the house’s puzzles, moving deeper and deeper inside,” explains Merkin, “they could be unlocking more than just the next room: they could be turning the clockwork that slowly opens the door to the world beyond, unleashing something terrible that’s waiting to get through.”

No Escape Room is a part of SyFy’s 31 Days of Halloween.

It premieres on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 9 pm ET on SyFy Channel.


  1. Thank you for this post. I just watched on SYFY on demand and was very pleasantly surprised. The film looked great, I liked all the performances and this definitely kept me guessing. I’m not sure I’ve seen a “horror” film quite like this recently. If there are more like it please suggest. It felt Hitchcockian in its suspense and mysteries (or had shades of the Shining at times) and I thought it was a very smart film. I like how many puzzles and mysteries the film creates for its viewer, the way the house is creating these puzzles and mysteries for its characters. Some of the time warping stuff is very cool and well thought out and it was nice to see it pay off in a few really great ways. I think this will lend itself to some good repeat viewing. I’m looking forward to watching it again. Definitely not the kind of film you expect from SYFY. Feels higher quality than some of their others I’ve seen. Loved the ending (won’t spoil anything) as well as some of the key tension moments. I’d probably give this 4.5/5. Really awesome watch. I’d say for anyone looking to watch something a little different, you won’t be disappointed.

  2. Last 2 minutes made little to no sense. No explanation for why the car was like that. Rest of the movie was decent, but the inconclusive, weird and ambiguous ending brought ruin and made me mad for wasting over an hour of my time on something that just ended up being a dud. Your horrible movie was stupid and a clear example of why having scary things and lack of lighting is worthless when the entire plot depends on people being too dumb to prop the doors open.

  3. NO ESCAPE THIS MOVIE!!!! Either they were dead the whole time or the father and daughter team escaped an escape room by finding a master key…to their broke down car- which they lost and now they can’t drive away boo hoo! Call Uber or catch the bus, this film was a waste any Jenni Ross is really rough looking ugh!!!


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