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Escape Room 2's streaming version changes the ending

We might actually prefer it, too.

Quite often when there's an extended cut of a movie, it doesn't really change much and just adds a few scenes here and there or extends some other scenes.

There are exceptions, of course, such as Peter Jackson's masterful extended editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the various versions of Blade Runner. However, you generally feel quite safe that you're not missing much if you don't watch an alternate cut of a movie.

Enter Escape Room: Tournament of Champions.

The horror sequel was released in cinemas back in July and didn't perform quite as well as the original at the box office, understandable given the uncertain marketplace right now. But if you catch up on the movie on its home release, be careful what version you watch.

Because in the case of Escape Room 2, the alternate version is totally different to the one released in cinemas, with a brand-new ending and one major character cut from it completely.

Spoilers are ahead for both versions of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, so be warned if you haven't seen the movie yet.

indya moore in escape room 2
Sony Pictures

Pre-order Escape Room 2

The sequel brings back the survivors from the first movie, Zoey (Taylor Russell) and Ben (Logan Miller), as they are thrown back into another series of deadly escape rooms by the villainous Minos Corporation.

This time around, they're joined by previous survivors of Minos escape rooms, but these characters are essentially just disposable victims. It looks for a bit like Ben is even killed in one room, but it's later revealed he was drowned in quicksand and just ended up in another puzzle.

After a room filled with acid rain kills the final two newbies, Zoey meets Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll) who we assumed had died in the first movie.

However, she survived that fall and became a new puzzle-maker for Minos after they abducted her daughter Sonya and forced Amanda to work for them. She soon turns against Minos though and teams up with Zoey to free Ben from his latest trap.

escape room, 2019
David BloomerSony Pictures

The trio break out of Minos and report all they know to the police. Unfortunately, as Zoey and Ben head home on a plane, they discover that the plane is just another escape room and sleeping gas fills the cabin as the movie ends.

Given that the alternate cut has been confirmed by Sony to run for only eight minutes longer than the original (96 minutes to 88 minutes), you'd be forgiven for thinking it can't be all that different. But it's been revealed that while there have been scenes added, there's also been a lot of footage taken out too.

A user on Blu-ray.com forums claimed to have seen the alternate version, which is said to contain around 26 new minutes of footage and drastically changes the plot.

Instead of opening with Zoey and Ben preparing to go to New York City, the alternate cut opens with Henry (James Frain), a Gamemaster for Minos, his wife Sonya and their daughter Claire. After Sonya threatens to leave him and take Claire, she mysteriously dies after being trapped in a sauna.

The movie then follows the original version as Zoey and Ben find themselves in the new escape rooms. Events play out in the same way, including Ben's supposed 'death', until after the acid rain room where things take a significant turn away from the theatrical cut.

Zoey doesn't meet Amanda who, we assume, did actually die in the first movie in this version. She actually meets Claire (Orphan's Isabelle Furhman) who's revealed to be the actual puzzle maker. Her father kept her locked in a room and presented her ideas as his own.

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Fortunately for Zoey and Ben, this means that Claire built something into the quicksand room that meant Ben survived. Unfortunately for Ben, he was found by Minos and put into another trap, this time a sauna room.

Claire convinces Zoey to help her escape and after they overpower Henry and lock him in Claire's room, they manage to save Ben by stopping the sauna game. With Claire's help, Zoey escapes and heads to the escape room location to pick up Ben and they, presumably, head to the police with their findings.

We don't actually see the pair after this so there's no plane cliffhanger, but the alternate cut has a different and darker ending to enjoy.

Claire isn't as innocent as she seems and admits to her now-imprisoned father that she killed her mother when she threatened to take her away. She then completes the set by killing her father, but not before she teases what's to come and tells him that he'll be "so proud when you see what I can do".

indya moore in escape room 2
Sony Pictures

It's a very Saw-esque finale and leaves the Escape Room series in a very different place, even if we assume that in this version, Zoey and Ben still eventually find themselves trapped on a plane.

By removing the surprise return of Amanda, it's arguably a more grounded version of the movie and certainly sounds stronger as a result. The twist that somebody was 'alive all along' is an overdone one in horror, and it really felt like the theatrical version didn't move things along and ended in exactly the same place.

Escape Room 2 - Tournament of Champions

This alternate cut at least expands the mythology of Minos and offers an interesting tease for the future. However, we imagine if Escape Room 3 does happen, the third movie will pick up from the theatrical version, rather than this alternate ending.

You can decide for yourself which version of Escape Room: Tournament of Champions you prefer when it arrives in the US on September 21 (digital) and October 5 (Blu-ray/DVD) with both versions of the movie.

Its UK home release is set for October 18 and we'd hope it's the same two-movie package, but it's yet to be confirmed.

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