Halloween Marathon 2021: Escape the Undertaker (2021)

Escape the Undertaker (2021)

Director: Ben Simms

Cast: Mark Calaway, Ettore Ewen, Kofi Kingston, Austin Watson

Can The New Day survive the surprises at The Undertaker’s spooky mansion? It’s up to you to decide their fate in this interactive WWE-themed special. – Netflix

Escape the Undertaker is a mystery comedy Halloween interactive film which runs about 30 minutes to get to the end. The goal is to escape the spooky mansion alive and destroy the Undertaker’s urn. First things first, wrestling is a blind spot for myself. The only wrestlers I have heard of are the mega famous or turns to actor ones and all I know about wrestling world are the basics, mostly from the documentary You Cannot Kill David Arquette (review).

However, this special has nothing to do with it other than the wrestling figures here, The New Day and The Undertaker as the leading roles as The New Day goes to The Undertaker’s mansion to borrow his urn which takes them for a ride when one of them ends up almost losing their soul and needs to save it before the ritual is complete, sending them on their separate paths. Of course, in the heart of choose your adventure, you only get to choose one of the three to follow, meaning you can always go back to see what the other paths are like, depending how much time you want to toss into this film. For myself, I at least went through until I could get the intended ending where they escaped and destroyed the urn. Its pretty straightforward so it was achievable on the second run where it also gave the chance to explore some other options to see a little bit more of this mansion. Its not particularly hard to find the right path that they want but I’m sure there are many other outcomes if you wanted to test out other paths to expand the experience.

The New Day has a pretty positive vibe overall and they seem fun enough to watch without anything too cringe-y in terms of dialogue or acting so its decent entertainment. Much like The Undertaker that has this somewhat campy villain sort of feeling as well. The two sides of the spectrum from the good and bad have a decent contrast taken from their wrestling personas. I mean, I’m just basing it on what I saw in this film so you can let me know if I’m completely wrong or this film was playing it up on any element.

With that said, Escape the Undertaker is somewhat of a silly idea and feels a little random overall as its all a little too straightforward perhaps. However, its a fun enough time. You are going into a film featuring a cast of wrestling figures in this interactive movie, so I’m not exactly sure how high the expectations should be. For myself, its not exactly anything too special but it was a good time. As a simple Halloween themed choose your adventure, I think its ticks the box well enough with some silly, fun and not so spooky escape adventure.

Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not To Steal (2020)

Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not To Steal (2020)

Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not To Steal

Director: Jos Humphrey & Kenny Park

Voice Cast: Gina Rodriguez, Finn Wolfhard, Abby Trott, Michael Hawley, Liam O’Brien, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Toks Olagundoye, Sharon Muthu, Kari Wahlgren, Charlet Takahashi Chung

You drive the action in this interactive adventure, helping Carmen save Ivy and Zack when V.I.L.E. captures them during a heist in Shanghai. –IMDB

Running at 30 minutes per run through, Carmen Sandiego is a bite-size animated Netflix game/movie. While I’ve never gotten around to watching the actual Netflix series for Carmen Sandiego, the red-coated long hair sleuth marks a lot of nostalgia and its why it seems like a fun idea to use animated film into a little interactive game type of movie.

With each run being 30 minutes or less, seeing as you could reach an unfortunate ending before its actual end and have to take a step back to make another choice, which I had to do a few times, leading to a total of eight endings (which I managed to get 5). The interactive elements of it are decent and come up frequent enough for it to feel immersive. In essence, this is an interactive additional episode for the show which is directed to kids unlike the previous two interactive movies which were more directed towards an older audience. Despite the choices, it does feel rather on rails. Its this or that situation. However, it feels smooth enough and the step back to the previous one is already made for you as a choice to restart the movie or to start from the previous step. In the end, it is an animated film so it still has to be fairly simple to comprehend and stay fun.

The voice acting here is done pretty nice. Perhaps not something to talk too much about since they are generally the same cast as the TV series (but I haven’t seen it). Carmen Sandiego is a fun character to watch and keeps to her character and well voiced by Gina Rodriguez. Finn Wolfhard voices Player, the offsite technical support for Carmen. The characters in general from Carmen’s crew, ACME agent and VILE villains are all fairly entertaining. What does take the cake for being entertaining is the ending sequence that you get to choose to watch or not as a bonus which is an addictive and really awesome song for Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.

Overall, while a little more geared towards kids and has that straight forward simplicity in its story that comes with it, Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not To Steal is a fun interactive game/movie. I’ve probably said fun a billion times in this review and honestly, I don’t have any other word to describe it. It did its job to entertain while keeping the choices consistent and frequent enough to make it feel immersive enough. There’s not a whole lot of revival of animated characters that I like (My Little Pony for example..not a fan of the new ones) but Carmen Sandiego works for me. Definitely going to find some time to catch up with the series!