The selling point of “Escape From Tomorrow” is the fact it was filmed entirely in Disneyland (which according to the film characters is in California, Florida) without anyone noticing it. Reason for that being as a film it does not function, does not understand what a film is, and is entirely purposeless with no set goal to accomplish. If release as someone vacation videos it would been far superior product than the one right before us.
Escape From Tomorrow has nothing that would resemble a story. It has a concept for a final act, but missing is the middle elevating raising action, and a beginning that makes us care about what we are watching in the first place. Never at any point does the film “plot” is ever made noticeable. The plot, just like the filmmakers imaginations, is nowhere to be seen on sight. Fortunately it did know what a protagonist is. Unfortunately it does not know what makes a good protagonist. Our protagonist is Jim, an utterly unlikable father whose actions have no consequences thus creating no conflict. Jim cheats on his wife which is never brought up in the film, Jim lets his wife do the hard work in parenting the children, Jim disregards his children safety (his looses sight of his kids several time) to stalk two sixteen year old girls around Disneyland, Jim constantly thinking about women he could have sex with (even after he cheated), and worse of all Jim is not given a single earned redeemable trait. This is an example of what I like to call an “anti character”. A character specifically designed to destroy the foundation of storytelling, infuriate the audience with his/her existence, and represent the emptiness of its creation.
For the first two act all we see is Jim and his family going around Disneyland going on rides until the one hour mark where Jim is electroshock into unconsciousness by workers. Within the first two act it fails to make us comfortable in Disneyland. Without an atmosphere of any kind the eerie direction of isolation it was going for never creeps into the viewer. I would make a joke how the filmmakers behind this put an intermission in a 90 minute film, but that intermission is a testament to the filmmakers incompetency acknowledging the joyless void they have created. The final act hints at a bigger scope attempting to make Disneyland this twisted and extraterrestrial control environment, but gives the opposite the effect. It callbacks to earlier seemingly unimportant events that play a role in the plot which never receives buildup. When reusing certain plot points it never does anything extraordinary or twisted with them. Instead it plays out realistically going against the intention. Disneyland through this film never comes off as twisted because most of the time because extraordinary things are rarely presented in the film.
Technical aspect are nothing impressive with audio and cinematography always being problematic. Framing of a shot can be either to high, to low, to far in one direction to name creating awkward shots. Also, it’s unable to conceal the usage of a green screen making the environment appear flat with actors sticking out. Audio is problematic as the film scores will be drown out by the dialogue or the noise of people in the Disneyland. Acting is terrible on all account. Being mostly a one man showcase for Roy Abramsohn who comes of as a second rate Ray Romano minus the charm. His character is written in such a despicable way its further downgraded by Abramsohn awful performance. Abramsohn lack of motivation and phone in emotions makes him a hatable presence on screen. Regardless Abramsohn is not be blamed coming of so negatively, but more blame should be put on what this film calls writing.
Escape From Tomorrow was better left untouched yesterday, better left unseen today, and should forever disappear into obscurity tomorrow. It’s only has the novelty of being filmed in Disneyland to its name and nothing more. Devoid of magic, wonder, and joy despite taking place entirely in Disneyland “Escapes From Tomorrow” delivers one of the unmagical and unhappiest 90 minutes possible.