It's the weekend! And while we would love it if you'd go out and play an escape game, we understand that some nights are made for just staying in.

But how do you scratch that escape game itch without leaving the comfort of your own home? You could

  • set up a laser maze in your living room
  • drink a gallon of water, lock your bathroom door, and throw the key over your shoulder into a pile of laundry without looking
  • watch a movie!

Here are six cinematic best bets for when you want that puzzly, mysterious escape game feel without ever leaving your sofa.

The Institute

This documentary about an Augmented Reality Game in San Francisco tries a little too hard at times to blend its fact and fiction, but it's an interesting case study in an interactive, game-like theatre experience. The experience itself goes of the rails when the game runners find themselves with a devoted following with no ending, as any fan of LOST will appreciate.

Midnight Madness

This flick marks the film debut of a very young Michael J. Fox. It's the mold for both wacky teen archetype films, and puzzle rallies, having inspired a number of real-life scavenger hunt games that annually raise the bar for complexity and zaniness.


Eight job applicants enter a room and are given 80 minutes to provide an answer on a piece of paper with no question. If you've ever found yourself in an escape game with no clear goal, Exam will be fun and familiar.

The Game

A wealthy but lonely investment banker receives a gift from his junkie brother: membership to an organization that runs a customized, real-life game. The game takes increasingly dark and dangerous turns as he tries desperately to escape. Highly recommended!


One of the most enjoyable Canadian films ever made, Cube takes a cue from zombie films by putting a group of diverse personalities in a stressful situation, and letting the drama bubble up from how those people interact. This group is trapped in a nightmarish matrix of seemingly identical rooms, and they have to puzzle their way out to stay alive. Perhaps.

Cabin in the Woods

Satisfying, hilarious, and absolutely brilliant, the less said about Cabin in the Woods, the better. If you've ever lost yourself on the website, Cabin in the Woods is a delectable treat that we wish we could re-experience for the first time over and over again.

The Rest

While these six flicks are some of our faves, we've compiled a Pinterest board of movies that involve plenty of treasure hunting, code breaking, and escaping from confined spaces. Honourable mentions include The Goonies, Labyrinth, and Papillon. If there's anything we're missing, let us know and we'll give it a pin. Enjoy your night in!

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