Film / Escape from Tomorrow

People come here because they want to feel safe. But bad things happen everywhere... especially here.

A 2013 guerrilla horror film shot incognito in Disneyland and Disney World, Escape from Tomorrow follows disgruntled father of two, Jim White, as he navigates his family vacation in the wake of being fired from his job, all while the theme park he and his family are vacationing at becomes more ghoulish and strange.

The trailer can be seen here.

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Black Eyes of Evil: Jim's son Elliot develops these.
  • Composite Character: The park itself is a hybrid of Disneyland and Disney World, utilizing exhibits and imagery from both.
  • Cool Hat: Jim buys a Fez. It doesn't last.
  • Creepy Child: Elliot
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The nature of the shoot meant there was little ability to control the lighting, and the variations were much less noticeable in black-and-white.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Between losing his job and being stressed about what should be a joyful vacation, Jim begins the film teetering on the edge. He shows hints that he is suicidal, and begins lusting after adolescents, both of which have the potential of pushing him over the horizon. He never crosses it, but the weird on-goings within the resort kill him off anyway.
  • Ephebophile: Jim becomes interested in two adolescent French girls.
  • Evil Cripple: The man in a neck brace riding a motorized scooter torments Jim and his daughter.
  • Foreshadowing: The park nurse mentions a "cat flu" which is apparently spreading around the park. Near the end of the film, Jim begins hacking up hairballs...
  • Gainax Ending: Jim becomes sick with the "cat flu," vomiting up hairballs and revealing catlike eyes. His patricidal son hears his cries for help, but locks him in the bathroom until he succumbs. Park security covertly removes his body, loads it in a vehicle, and drives off. As they do, a second car pulls up to the hotel, containing Jim, the imaginary woman from earlier in the film, and his daughter, all of them preparing for their vacation.
  • High-Class Call Girl: At one point Jim hallucinates that the Disney princesses are all escorts for Asian businessmen.
  • Hope Spot: The Emu Woman is "defeated", but Jim still succumbs to the cat flu after making it back to his hotel room.
  • Mind Screw
  • Monumental Damage: One of Jim's hallucinations is a scene of one of Spaceship Earth's legs exploding, sending the "giant testicle" rolling around EPCOT, possibly squishing guests.
  • No Name Given: The "Emu woman" is never referred to by a real name.
  • Off with His Head!: Twice! Once during the opening credits, a passenger on the Big Thunder Railroad roller coaster is decapitated by a low overpass and later, Jim's interrogator at Epcot is revealed to be an animatronic after Jim catches his head in the door.
  • Patricide: Jim's son begins trying to kill him.
  • Product Placement: Ultimate with the location of the film, the scientist from Siemens (who, in real life, sponsored a Disney World attraction) and a Neosporin-like drug whose real name is only heard, not seen.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jim. Oh boy, Jim.
  • Slasher Smile: As Emily sees one of the French girls passing her by, she has a creepy vision of her having this face.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: The ubiquitous mega-corporation's name is bleeped out during Jim's interrogation...despite the fact Jim mentioned the park by name earlier in the film while at Epcot.
  • Surprisingly Similar Stories: This is not the first project filmed guerrilla-style at a Disney park where something traumatic happens on It's A Small World while a non-Small World tune plays.
  • The Plague: The "cat flu" is referenced to be something like this, although Jim is ultimately the only one to succumb to the disease, at least the only one to show symptoms.
  • Transferable Memory: Towards the end of the film, one of the security members seems to transplant memories of riding the Buzz Lightyear ride into Elliot, since he never got to ride it. He even affixes a souvenir pin to the boy's shirt.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "I think you found my hidden Mickey!"