“Escape From Tomorrow,” directed by the very talented and creative Randy Moore,
takes you on one family’s journey to the happiest place on earth, Disneyworld. Unlike most people’s experience, Randy creates a story of delusion, frustration, control, and adultery.
Patriarch Jim, played by Roy Abramsohn in a hauntingly natural performance, loses his job on the morning of their final day at Disneyworld.
Not wanting to upset his family he hides the phone call from his wife Emily. Emily played by Elena Schuber, a wonderfully friendly woman in person, is a nagging, unapologetic wife. During the morning ride on the monorail to the park, two young girls jump on and stand near the family. Jim is attracted to these young girls and is obsessed with following them. He begins dodging his wife and using his children as an excuse to get closer and closer to these girls. When him and his wife split up to go on different rides with the kids, Jim with first his son then his daughter go on the hunt for these girls, which we can assume are Jim’s happiest place on Earth. His behavior causes Emily to grow suspicious of her husband. Without giving away too much, a series of actions follows putting Jim in compromising situations while racing from ride to ride on the hunt for these girls. Throughout his journey, Jim
hallucinates demonic faces on the heads of some of Disney’s favorite characters. His imaginations are running wild and his behavior seems to parallel his thoughts. As the day progresses, the enormous park seems to be closing in on him. As Jim starts to lose track of time and place, his actions become more intense and more self destructive all culminating in the final scene that will make you question what you
just saw. Paying homage to old sci-fi films, shot in black and white, this film exhibits elements of such creatively twisted directors David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick. Just as these Greats allow viewers to enter into a character’s brain and follow their
twisted and often surreal journey, so does Randy Moore with “Escape from Tomorrow.” This film was literally the talk of the town at Sundance, a must-see for many reasons. A lot of the buzz revolved around the fact the filmmakers filmed this
movie inside the Disney parks without being granted any official access. Every filmgoer at Sundance wanted to know if Disney would try and muzzle this film, if this film might get buried in litigation or even if Disney was at all aware that this had
been shot! At the time of this review, those questions remain unanswered with the hopes that this will work out for everyone, Disney included. We had the fortune of meeting this wonderful cast and crew at Sundance. When asked if anyone at the parks questioned the filming, Elena explained that guests and workers at the park just thought they were a normal family having a difficult day. Cameras are everywhere in the park so with a limited crew and by using two small 5D cameras with remote LAV mics, they really blended in with the rest of the tourists.
During the Q&A, Director Moore explained that each filmgoer should determine his or her own interpretation of the ending. Actor Roy Abramsohn confessed that he didn’t fully get a sense of the story until he saw the film a few times. Director and writer Moore was asked how his childhood experiences at Disney shaped this movie. Without going into too much personal detail he mentioned that after his parents got divorced, his father moved to Orlando. Most of Randy’s childhood memories with his father took place at the Disney parks. Returning as an adult, Randy had a much different experience and this story is a creative extension of this realization. One thing is certain; “Escape From Tomorrow” is one ride you won’t find at Disney and an experience you do not want to miss.