In the age of escape rooms and social media, it was only a matter of time before the two were combined. No leak takes two of Millennials’ favorite things and adds a twist to them. Set in Russia, the film follows an influencer as he and his friends take on Moscow’s toughest escape room, broadcasting it all. Each scenario is different but the game quickly starts to feel too real and everyone’s lives are put in danger. Starring Keegan Allen, Holland Roden, Ronen Rubinstein, Denzel Whitaker, Siya, Pasha D. Lynchnikoff, Kimberly Quinn and Emilia Ares and written and directed by Will Wernick, No leak takes the horror genre to a whole new level. Read on to find out why!
Warning: Spoilers for No leak! Read at your own risk!
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The idea of an escape room is just that: escape. Each has a different theme with different puzzles and a time limit. The escape room where adventure vlogger Cole (Allen) and his friends go is believed to be in a prison, where people have been tortured. What starts out as an innocent game turns into something where puzzle solving is literally life or death and the real could be fake and the fake could be real. All of the different rooms, or cells, in this escape room have different elements of torture. It could be a corpse, a stretching machine, an electric chair, a glass box that may or may not fill with water. The gang quickly realize how real this game is and try everything they can to get out of it. But when the tables suddenly turn on them and the game becomes more real, they will have to learn how to cope in order to survive, but not everyone comes out alive.
The concept of the film itself, while different from that of a typical horror film, is different and unique. It starts with getting to know the characters and what they’re about, but when the real escape room begins, the tone changes. It’s darker – you don’t know who to trust or what’s going to happen. The twists and turns of the film keep the story going. It’s unpredictable. With a twisted ending that most people, even horror fanatics, wouldn’t understand, No leak takes the idea of an escape room and gives it a weird feeling. The torture, the wonder, the survival – all of these make the escape room in the movie different. It’s different every time. No experience is the same. It is suitable for whoever does it. It goes beyond what an Escape Game is and becomes real, which makes it terrifying.
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As a true star of No leak, Allen, best known for his role as the mysterious Toby Cavanaugh in Pretty little Liars for seven seasons, takes on a challenge that goes far beyond the simple attempt to escape. Cole’s tone since he first entered the escape room has been calm, cool, and serene. He’s happy, he’s excited to do this and share it with his fans and viewers. When he sees everyone’s predicament, he slowly begins to realize how messy this escape room is. He is terrified of what could happen and what almost happened. He completely shatters at the end of the movie and has no hope. Cole goes from that excited vlogger at the start of the movie who does just another insane challenge to a scared, terrified person who breaks down because of what happens during the game. The tone and emotion Allen shows throughout the film shows the kind of depth he has and how far he’s willing to go as an actor.
Horror and thriller films take on a particular significance, a particular talent as an actor. This cast has that lineup and that talent. Roden is one of the stars of No leak. Known for her role as Lydia Martin in MTV’s Teen wolf for the six seasons of the series, Roden, like Allen, faces more than one. As Cole’s girlfriend, Erin feels the need to follow him, even though she feels like she doesn’t necessarily fit into this life. When the Escape Room begins, she is the one who suffers the most, being the first to be truly on the verge of death. Throughout the game, she loses all hope she ever had, terrified for her life and no longer recognizes the one person she cares about.
No leak redefines the genre of horror film. There are no monsters, there are no ghosts, there is no purge. It’s the kind of horror that confuses your mind. It’s a thriller. You wonder what’s going to happen next, and you are invested in these characters that you just met. This escape room is so different and right off the bat you try to figure out what it’s for. Just when you think it’s over, it isn’t. It might not leave you with nightmares and keeping your lights on at night, but there are twists and turns you didn’t expect, an ending you wonder how they did, wanting to see it again to see if you can spot anything. The cast pulls the different range of emotions, the twists and turns are the ones you would never expect. Overall, the movie keeps people on the edge of their seats. No leak has taken the horror and thriller genres to a whole new level and it’s something that will likely stick around for a long time to come.
No leak is now available on VOD, Digital and in limited theaters.