But Jim later awakens to find himself in bed with a bug-eyed, evil-stepmother type (Alison Lees-Taylor). Worse than the idea of sleeping with an age-appropriate woman — he compares his own thirtysomething wife (Elena Schuber) to Emily Dickinson — is the fact that he can’t recall how he got there. He shakes off the tryst, but the park threatens his sanity. The animatronic dolls smirk and sneer, his fellow tourists turn into ghouls, even his young son (Jack Dalton) seems possessed.
Notoriously shot on Disney grounds without Big Mouse’s permission, “Escape From Tomorrow” is a horror-laced fever dream in monochrome black and white. First-time director Randy Moore achieves stunningly beautiful compositions made all the more impressive by the difficult circumstances of the shooting.
For the first hour, the plot is stultifyingly aimless, while the satire of Disney’s oppressive optimism is as stale as any theme-park snack. But like a roller coaster, a queasily rollicking and dizzyingly loopy climax — involving a kidnapped princess, a mind-reading robot, and a mysterious flu — ultimately makes the long wait worthwhile.