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Escape Room 2’s first trailer could be another brilliant bait-and-switch

Tournament of Champions will probably be the year’s best Saw sequel

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

The original Escape Room was one of the most fun horror movie surprises of the last several years, and on Wednesday, Sony gave us our first look at the sequel in a new trailer. But it seems that Sony may be giving away some of the movie’s surprises — or maybe the studio’s playing an elaborate trick.

On its surface, the original Escape Room seemed like a shameless cash-grab, designed to attach a movie to the escape room trend. It turned out to be a fun, smart horror movie that played out like a top-tier Saw sequel. It features clever traps, likeable characters, and genuinely surprising twists.

The trailer for Escape Room: Tournament of Champions picks up right where the last movie ended, with the survivors of the first escape room making their way to New York City to confront the company that locked them in there to begin with. But, of course, the company is one step ahead of them, trapping them in a new deadly escape room along with survivors from other rooms across the country.

From there, the trailer cuts between some of the traps that are sure to feature heavily in the movie. As great as each trap and scene looks in the trailer, it’s hard not to feel like every trap they show might be giving away a surprise that would have been better saved for the theater, but that was true of the first movie’s trailer too, and it turned out to be a clever trick. As much as the original movie’s trailer showed, it also served to set up expectations that the full movie could then upend.

Hopefully Escape Room 2’s trailer is playing a similar game, but even if that’s not the case, it still looks like a lot of fun.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions will be released in theaters on July 16.

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