An Escape Room Thriller: Our Review of ‘The Path To Totality’

Posted in Movies by - March 19, 2024
An Escape Room Thriller: Our Review of ‘The Path To Totality’

If you’ve ever played an escape room, The Path To Totality will seem familiar. After all, an escape room is an immersive experience where someone locks you in a room and forces you to solve puzzles and unravel clues in an attempt to escape before the time runs out. Director Sean Cisterna’s film has all of these elements. From the timer counting down the seconds, to the hidden clues that lead to the next challenge, The Path To Totality has them all, except in this case when the timer reaches zero the character will face real consequences.

From the moment Grayson Lee (Jonathan Kim) opens his eyes he knows he’s in trouble. He finds himself handcuffed to a chair in a dank room. He has no recollection of who he is or how he got there. His only companion is  Dr. Sung Moon (Daniel Park), a man who gives him a grim piece of information. Dr. Moon tells him that when the timer reaches midnight, he will die for a crime he cannot remember committing. Unwilling to give up, Grayson searches the room for items that can assist him in escaping or calling for help. Unfortunately, he facts a time limit, and when it runs out, he will die.

The Path To Totality is a tense thriller that starts off quickly and never lets up. The director does an amazing job of building tension and supplying the lead character with just enough hope that you believe you has a chance, however small, of escaping. The steps the main character takes is believable as well, which helps draw you into it. The movie wouldn’t have been as good as it was however, if the two main actors weren’t good at creating their characters.

Kim could have chosen to play Grayson as an arrogant man who believes he will get out of the mess he’s in. He doesn’t however. Every scene you can see the fear in his face. Even when he does take steps forward, you can tell he doesn’t necessarily believe he’s going to get away. It’s obvious Grayson is very skilled and good at what he does, but he never gets cocky, which makes him likeable enough that you want him to succeed in getting away. The script also stays away from having cliches in his speech, which helps. Park on the other hand plays his role with cold confidence. It’s apparent he knows what is going on, but he never plays his hand until the very end. He’s creepy and psychopathic, just from the matter of fact way he delivers his lines.

Simply put, The Part To Totality is a fantastic film. It walks the line of being predictable and not predictable, which keeps you on the edge from start to finish. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, it turns a corner and gives you a different option. The best part is, no matter where you think the story is going, you are inevitably proven wrong. These days it’s almost impossible to surprise everyone, but this film probably will. It’s well worth taking an hour and a half to watch, because you probably won’t see anything as creative this year.

This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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