Strangers trapped in a room trying to escape

If you love movies starring groups of strangers who find themselves trapped in a room and need to find a way out, then this list is for you. Hurry up before they start dying one by one!

Unknown (2006)

Five men wake up in a locked-down warehouse with no memory of who they are.

With a pretty well-known cast (Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Bridget Moynahan, and always-awesome supporting actors Joe Pantoliano and Peter Stormare), the film focuses on these five men’s search to figure out who is good and who isn’t so they can stay alive.


Nine Dead (2010)

As in the video game 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors (by the way, play it!), nine strangers are kidnapped and forced to figure out the connection they have to each other… as one of them will die every ten minutes if they don’t find it.

The premise is great but the film isn’t. You may find funny that it stars Sabrina, the teenage witch, a.k.a. Melissa Joan Hart, but the rest of the cast are pretty much unknown to the general audience.


House of 9 (2005)

You may get confused -as do I- with “Nine Dead” and “House of 9” and not remember which is which. Well, “House of 9” is set, obviously, inside a house and not in a small room like the other film.

It also starts with a typical horror flick premise such as promising these nine strangers (by the way, a very varied group: a priest, a dancer, a designer, a rapper, a tennis player, a woman on probation, a composer and his wife, and a detective) 5 million dollars if they survive the game – a game created by a wealthy maniac who has 75 cameras following them around the house.

The cast is as varied as the characters, featuring Dennis Hopper and former “Doctor” Peter Capaldi!


Fermat’s Room (2007)

La habitación de Fermat is a Spanish thriller directed by Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña where three mathematicians and one inventor are invited to a house by a man who calls himself Fermat.

Trapped in one room, they will have to solve Fermat’s riddles if they want to get out alive, since the walls of the room are getting closer and closer to them.


Escape Room (2019)

The newest in the list, aptly titled Escape Room!

American horror film which follows a group of people who are sent to navigate a series of escape rooms, only to find that the consequences, as always, are deadly.


The Saw saga (2004-2017)

Of course, the mother of all “escape the room” films.

“I want to play a game…”

The “Saw” franchise has good, bad, and terrible films but we have to admit that the first one was something else. It was something we had never seen before -same goes for the Jigsaw character.

Which one is your favorite and least favorite of them all?


The Cube saga (1997-2004)

The “Cube” franchise has gained a cult following, mainly thanks to its great first film, and also because it’s not a Hollywood production but a product of the Canadian Film Centre’s First Feature Project.

There are three films directed by different directors: “Cube” (1997), “Cube 2: Hypercube” (2002), and “Cube Zero” (2004) which, as you may have guessed, is a prequel.

Variations aside, all of them focus on the gigantic, mechanized cubical structure of the title in which most of the main characters awaken not knowing why.


The Killing Room (2009)

Now this one says it all with that title.

Starring Chloe Sevigny, Nick Cannon, Timothy Hutton and, again, Peter Stormare, “The Killing Room” is about four people who sign up for a psychological research study… only to discover that they are now subjects of something else.


Elevator (2011)

Not to be confused with the Shyamalan-produced film “Devil” (also set in an elevator and also on this list), this movie follows nine strangers trapped inside a Wall Street elevator 49 floors above Manhattan while on the way to a company party. But there’s more: one of them has a bomb.


Devil (2010)

I bet many people believe this movie is the same as “Elevator” because it’s also about people trapped inside one. But no, it’s called “Devil” -or “The Night Chronicles: Devil”- and it’s based on a story by “Sixth Sense” director M. Night Shyamalan.

The producer has acknowledged that the basic structure of the story was “an Agatha Christie nod” referring to the British writer’s famous work And then there were none (also known as Ten little indians).

The “Night Chronicles” title shows that it was planned as part of a saga; it was supposed to be a trilogy about supernatural forces within modern urban society, but no other films have been made yet.


Exam (2009)

A British psychological thriller set in an alternate history, present-time United Kingdom.

We find ourselves watching eight candidates sitting at individual desks waiting for what appears to be an employment assessment exam, which is 80 minutes long and consists of only one question. There are also three rules: they can’t talk to the Invigilator or the armed guard at the door, spoil their paper, or leave the room. But things will definitely get weirder.


Circle (2015)

Not to be confused with “The Circle” starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, “Circle” is a fantastic psychological thriller. Sometimes, it’s even better when the actors are not that famous because it makes things more believable.

Not five, not nine, but 50 PEOPLE wake up in a room! A darkened room, arranged in two concentric circles around a black dome. They seem unable to move or touch the rest of them because when someone ignores the sound warning and leaves formation, a beam from the dome kills them. Also, every two minutes, another person is killed. After several people die, they realize they can vote for who dies. And as you may have guessed, they can’t refrain from voting because then someone will be randomly selected.


Coherence (2012)

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t liked “Coherence”. Yes, it’s a bit of a mindf*ck because it’s not only an “escape the room” film, it’s much more.

This film by James Ward Byrkit in his directorial debut, focuses on a group of friends who must deal with strange occurrences following a comet sighting.

Want to know more about the film? Possible spoilers ahead:

We have eight people at a dinner party. A comet passes over them. This causes the house -and its occupants- to intertwine with multiple such houses and occupants from other realities. Now try to watch the film and understand everything without having to go to Youtube and search for videos explaning the different timelines!

  1. Oracle 1 day ago

    List updated, thanks for the suggestions.

  2. Vikas Dhavaria 2 months ago

    You forgot “The Fermats Room”. Now you can add “Escape Room” too. 


Most successful Scandinavian actors