Triple Feature: No Escape, The Visit, Dope

Time for another edition of Tomes at the movies.

No Escape

No Escape is the story of an American family going to work overseas, and almost immediately getting caught in a coup. I knew it would be a bit of drama, but what was such a treat was all the attention to details. So much story is contained in there. Even in the beginning scenes, there is so much attention given to minor characters who set the theme, tone, and mood. The music is so good. I mean like Mad Max: Fury Road good. The slow motion scenes, which are peppered throughout, as well as those really tense moments where the sound just fades into the background, are so well done.

I had the exact same feeling as in Mad Max: Fury Road of suddenly realizing that all my muscles were tense and my hands clenched.

The story would make an excellent little RPG scenario twist, which is to say that a character, as a relatively innocent contractor, is a face for the "evil corporation" as seen by the revolution.

This also inspired me to add more social unrest in my RPGs. It would be great to have the PCs in a scenario wandering into a city, only to find their in the middle of a civil war they knew nothing about. Even better is throwing them hints and clues as they proceed which hints at the mounting tension and unrest.

The Visit

The Visit is a little horror movie, with that whole video cam thing. The cute twist here is that pretty much the main character is the girl who is into cinematography, so there are some double entendres of that nature during the movie. This is a great exploration of some of the natural oddities of getting old, combined with that creepy madness that is so effective in freaking you out ("sundowning"; so good). The grandma and grandpa (pop-pop) are so unbelievably good at glowing with crazy. And the movie has an excellent little twist at the end.

I think this could totally work as a Dread game where the characters are the children (you can play various siblings, different ages). I think the grandparents, combined with a few additional characters (like the movie, various visitors from town), are enough to flesh out the scenario. The incidental old-person maladies are enough to start creeping out the PCs without giving away anything about the end. Love the limited communication, such as no wifi, one dial-up plug that gets occasionally used, a remote farmstead, the parent estranged from the grandparents, and also off on a cruise with boyfriend. It all sets a great sense of disconnection from help.


Dope was dope. Seriously. Great soundtrack, old hip hop references abound, and a dramatic story with excellent humor. Characters were super relate-able. Best part was having 3 main characters, none of which you'd consider to have a "super star" look. Go geek!

Did inspire me to think of a PC party that are "geeks". I.e. no one is physically strong, with everyone playing "weak", skill-heavy roles. Could be modern (such as the movie) or just convert it into some other scenario.