AWARD THIS! 2023 INDIE SCI-FI NOMINEE! Emerson Moore’s horror, Escape the Field, turns an average cornfield into a maze of death. Can you figure out its mystery before it’s too late?
Our tale opens in a small clearing in the middle of a remote cornfield. In the clearing is an unconscious Sam (Jordan Claire Robbins), suddenly awakened to the horror of her situation. Not knowing where she is, Sam only has the clothes on her back and a gun with a single bullet.
Moments later, Tyler (Theo Rossi) enters her space. He, too, has no idea why he’s there and why he only has a pack of matches. As the two try to get their bearings, they are immediately confronted by the aggressive Ryan (Shane West) and the two stragglers he picked up along the way being Denise (Elena Juatco) and Ethan (Julian Feder). The last person to find their group is Cameron (Tahirah Sharif). Each has no idea why they are there, and each is given a different object, including a knife, lantern, and compass. Cameron mysteriously has nothing.
Like mice in a maze, Escape the Field plays on the foibles of human nature placed in extreme conditions. Can our team trust one another, or is there an “alien” or “spy” amongst them? Why were they given different items, and can they use them to solve various puzzles along the way? Then there’s the gun…
There’s more to the story than finding a way out of the maze. There is a monster on the loose hunting humans—picking off our team one by one. There are also clues along the way found on creepy scarecrows throughout the field. Some of them shoot poisonous darts.
“Not knowing where she is, Sam only has the clothes on her back and a gun with a single bullet.”
Escape the Field is an engaging horror/thriller thanks to a clever script by writers Joshua Dobkin and Sean Wathen, with co-writer/director Emerson Moore. Our six survivors are given six distinct personalities with varying degrees of trust, mistrust, and the animal instinct to survive.
The story mainly follows Sam, who is the every person that we can easily empathize with. Tyler is the self-sacrificial hero, and, of course, you’ve got to have a crazy, paranoid, aggressive type in Ryan. Personalities often clash to the team’s detriment, making survival and escape more difficult.
Regarding the plot, Escape the Field excels in creating a mystery and slowly peeling away the layers of that mystery. It does it just at the right pace and with the right mix of puzzle-solving with blood and gore.
If anything, though, director Emerson Moore just nails down that tone. Thriller/horror is challenging to pull off when we have a film that involves talking and puzzles. The play between tension and release makes this a true thriller, and the physical toll on our heroes makes this a genuine horror.
Escape the Field is an excellent indie horror that makes a single soundstage dressed up like a cornfield feel like it goes on for miles. With an austere and recycled set, director Moore masterfully relies on fantastic performances and clever stories to create a larger-than-life tale of survival.
Escape the Field is currently available on Peacock!
"…plays on the foibles of human nature placed in extreme conditions."