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Emerson Moore
Jordan Claire Robbins, Shane West, Theo Rossi
Writing Credits:
Emerson Moore, Sean Wathen, Joshua Dobkin

Six strangers wake up trapped in an endless cornfield only to discover something mysterious is hunting them.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 6/21/2022

• Audio Commentary from Writer/Director Emerson Moore and Writers Joshua Dobkin and Sean Wathen
• “Pieces of the Puzzle” Featurette


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Escape the Field [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 14, 2022)

A trope of horror films involves people stuck in bizarre circumstances from which they need to find a way to avoid death. In this vein comes 2022’s Escape the Field.

Six strangers awaken in a remote location with no memory of how they got there. This cornfield offers an enormous space with no obvious end.

Devoid of their personal possessions, these folks get access to only a handful of items. As they deal with a mix of threats, they attempt to band together and figure out a means to escape.

As noted at the start, Field comes with a well-worn premise. However, that doesn’t doom it to failure, as the movie’s basic plot leaves open plenty of room for suspense.

Alas, Field tends to feel like all concept, no execution. As too often becomes the case, the filmmakers appear to feel the general narrative motif should carry the ball across the goal line.

It doesn’t. Despite the inherent suspense the story imparts, the end result tends to feel sluggish and less than coherent.

Field comes with something of a Stephen King vibe, mainly because it hints at some form of non-human cause to the characters’ predicament. No spoilers, of course, but the story leans in a direction that implies something outside of the man-made realm, and it then examines the real nature of the threat.

This leaves us with a tale that offers compelling implications. As we go through what led these particular characters to find themselves in this bizarre situation, we encounter a mix of intriguing possibilities.

Unfortunately, Field just doesn’t explore these in a positive manner. It tends to confuse “sluggish pacing” with “building tension”, and it doesn’t develop the characters well enough to compensate.

Granted, these choices feel logical. We don’t want all the answers at once, so we should go through the mystery in a gradual manner.

Field falters because it can’t make these moments tense or especially provocative. As we await a series of revelations, we don’t become engaged with the process.

This means we don’t really care what happens to the participants, and that becomes a deadly flaw for a tale such as this. We need to care about the fate of the characters for this kind of story to work, so the basic absence of audience investment turns into a major issue.

Field’s basic concept means the viewer will stick with it to see where it finally goes. However, that audience member seems unlikely to feel absorbed by this semi-tedious stab at a horror-thriller.

Footnote: a tag scene pops up midway through the end credits.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Escape the Field appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a good but not great image.

Sharpness became the weakest link, as some mildly soft shots occasionally emerged. Nonetheless, most of the film offered pretty positive delineation, so those iffier moments prove relatively rare.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to appear.

Given the cornfield setting, the movie opted for a palette dominated by green, with some blue and amber as well. The hues lacked much dimensionality but they felt appropriate given the stylistic choices.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows felt smooth and clear. Expect a generally appealing presentation.

Though a thriller, Field came with a pretty restrained DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. The soundscape favored music and moody ambience more than anything else.

Those elements filled the speakers in a fairly engaging manner, though they never stood out as memorable. The mix added some occasional vivid moments but most of it stayed with general environment.

Audio quality worked fine, as speech appeared concise and distinctive. Music sounded full and rich as well.

As noted, effects didn’t get a lot to do, but they still seemed accurate and dynamic. The movie’s soundtrack seemed adequate for the story.

A few extras appear here, and we get an audio commentary from writer/director Emerson Moore and writers Joshua Dobkin and Sean Wathen. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the movie’s roots and development, story and characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, shooting during COVID, effects, photography and related domains.

In general, this becomes a pretty good chat, as those involved meld well and provide a nice mix of details. While never quite a great discussion, the commentary nonetheless largely satisfies.

Pieces of the Puzzle runs 24 minutes, 12 seconds and offers notes from Moore and actors Jordan Claire Robbins, Shane West, Theo Rossi, and Tahirah Sharif. “Puzzle” covers story and characters, cast and performances, Moore’s impact on the shoot, sets and locations.

24 minutes usually means a featurette with decent depth, but “Puzzle” devotes way too much time to basic plot/character review. This means it lacks many insights and becomes less than informative.

At its core, Escape the Field comes with a potentially compelling horror mystery tale. However, the final product fails to find much tension or drama. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a few bonus features. While not a truly bad movie, Field seems pretty forgettable.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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