Director Randy Moore had to know that it would be almost impossible for his film Escape from Tomorrow to get out from under its high concept of a movie filmed, guerilla-style, on location at Disney World. With audiences eager to ooh and aah at the transgressive how'd-they-do-that shock of the surreptitious filmmaking, would anyone even notice if Tomorrow turned out to be a good movie? Sadly, that's a question that doesn't need answering.
Tomorrow begins promisingly enough as we follow a typical suburban family around Disney World. The dad (Roy Abramsohn) hasn't yet told his family that he's been fired, and the stress seems to be getting to him. He's hallucinating monsters on the rides, and he's creepily following a pair of too-young French girls around the park with his son in tow. But the filmmaking constraints eventually take its toll on the movie, and the plot veers in every direction at once, picking up and setting down half-baked ideas with every new scene. Tomorrow chooses quantity over quality, and values weird above meaningful. This is an especially poor decision since the cast can't sustain our suspension of disbelief, or our interest, for most of the movie. The wife (Elena Schuber) is a shrieking, unlikeable harpy who kills the momentum of the domestic scenes. A little dimension added to the role would have helped the film immensely, but Escape from Tomorrow is not a film that worries about its characters.
It's not all bad, of course. The thrill of watching the Disney World scenes is surprisingly satisfying. The orchestral soundtrack is excellent. And the black-and-white cinematography in the Disney World scenes is gorgeous. But Escape from Tomorrow can't overcome its devotion to shock tactics long enough to make a case for its own existence. It squanders all the potential that the movie's ambitious premise established in the opening frames.