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Top 5 Cruelest Puzzles in Escape Room

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands

Solve the puzzles . . . or else! These cruel “Escape Room” (2019) puzzles are mental and physical torture. In this psychological horror, a clandestine company has made solving escape rooms much more than a game, luring in Taylor Russell's Zooey Davis, Logan Miller’s Ben Miller, and other unwitting victims into a series of brutal traps. Here are the absolute worst. Which puzzle did YOU find the cruellest? Let us know in the comments!


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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 5 Cruelest Puzzles in Escape Room

Solve the puzzles… or else. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 5 Cruelest Puzzles in Escape Room.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the rooms in this terrifying 2019 psychological horror film based on how cruel, terrifying, and unusual they were. Please note, if you haven’t seen the film, there will be major spoilers!

#5: The Frozen Lake & the One Coat

If, like our friend Danny, you’ve visited a few escape rooms, you know that there are some basic rules. It’s just a game after all! Well, as our unfortunate team of contestants learn the hard way in this challenge, the Minos company has thrown out the rulebook. Not only is the outdoor theming elaborate beyond comprehension, but the safety and comfort of the players is pushed way past the limits. When they step outside the cabin, they discover that the temperature is 38 degrees fahrenheit and dropping. With only a single coat to keep them warm, they have to use body heat to release a key from a block of ice. This isn’t a puzzle, it’s torture, with a side of life-threatening environmental danger!

#4: The Upside-Down Billiards Bar with a Disappearing Floor

After their horrific ordeal out on the frozen lake, the gang could probably use a drink. Sadly, that’s not what this particular bar has to offer. They quickly discover that they’ve traded in thin ice for a floor that’s disappearing in massive chunks. Whenever the upbeat song “Downtown” begins playing, it’s a signal that they’re about to lose a major section of flooring; which area will fall away however, is anyone’s guess. As such, our competitors have no choice but to hold on for dear life. Of course, they also need to find a way out, and that means that someone needs to take a risk . . .

#3: The Lobby that Turns Into an Oven

With most escape rooms, you’re first walked into the challenge space and told that your time’s begun. As such, this first challenge is particularly cruel and unusual because our ragtag, mismatched team of contestants think they’re just in the waiting room. When Ben tries to leave to have a smoke however, the handle comes off the door and the game begins without warning. Not only are they totally unprepared and thus misusing resources, but, assuming that Minos is a legitimate company, they also have no idea just how high the stakes are. To make matters worse, the room seems designed to trigger Amanda’s PTSD, ensuring that the team gets off to a rough start.

#2: The Hospital Room & the EKG

Amanda isn’t the only one with trauma in her past. Each room that the group goes through seems to have nods and subtle references to the past tragedies that they’ve survived. In the Hospital Room, the Minos company finally makes this aspect of the competition overt by recreating the beds in which they all recovered after their respective tragedies. It’s already cruel, in that it’s an attempt to throw them off-kilter by distracting them with the pain of their past. But it gets worse. The clues in this room are ambiguous, leading Jason to misinterpret what they need to do with the EKG machine - and ultimately resulting in tragedy.

#1: The Psychedelic Room & the LSD

You wouldn’t think it could get any crueler than the Hospital Room, but you’d be wrong. First, a curveball is thrown into the mix when survivors Jason and Ben are dosed with an intense psychedelic drug. By this point, the Minos company have made it clear that they’re only too happy to see contestants die, but here they up the ante yet again by finally making it clear that they’re expressly TRYING to pit the contestants against one another. In their desperation to survive - and while tripping balls - Ben and Jason fight to the death over the single antidote. Hey, aren’t escape rooms supposed to be a team effort? Apparently, not when the murderous Minos company is involved!

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