Going in, I suspected that this would be a movie that I would either love or hate. Turns out, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think what I love most about the movie has actually little to do with the movie itself, and more with how it was shot. To take this script and the actors and to just go to Disney World and shoot the movie without permission, guerilla-style… that’s probably a better story than the one the movie tells itself. Also… I’m in awe of that poster. I mean seriously, look at it. Mickeys bloody hand, the original disney font… how could a movie possibly live up to that? Well, turns out: it can’t.
Part of it definitely has to do with my expectations. Going in, I thought that “Espace From Tomorrow” would be a movie about a man who slowly starts to lose his mind while being surrounded of the surrealness of Disney World. Which, unfortunately, isn’t really what this is. Instead, it turns out to be a hodgepodge of different ideas and weird elements that seem to have been cobbled together with the “throw everything to the wall and see what sticks”-method, and that includes witches, a fictional illness called cat flu, a weird organisation that kidnaps guests in order to scan their brain, and so on. It starts off really strong, but then it just got this weird mess of one-note ideas that didn’t really came together to a coherent whole. It all just got a little too weird for me, until it reached a point where I couldn’t take it serious anymore. Which might have been the point, but sooner or later I simply couldn’t go along for the ride anymore. It got way too confusing and weird. I especially hated everything about the cat flu. That was just way too much for me. And the ending was completely bonkers, and finally seemed to push the movie over from the surreal and weird to the supernatural.
It was also a little weird to see famous attractions like Small World without the accompanying music. And for whatever reason (maybe one of Disney’s condition to allow them to release the movie?), certain parts of certain images were pixeled out, which stood out in a strange way. Having said all that, there were still parts and elements that I liked, and at least for a while, I really had a good time with the movie. First of all: I loved the fact that this was shot in black and white – which perfectly captures and somehow even enhances the surrealness of Disney World. Since I’ve been to Disneyland before myself, I also really liked how the movie captures the craziness of it all. The long lines, the waiting, meeting random people again, and so on. The family dynamic was nice, too. And I absolutely loved that instead of romanticising it, they showed Jim’s ogling of the far too young french girls for what it is: Creepy, disturbing and pathetic. I also think that the movie really started very strong – I just wish they would have stayed more grounded instead of going off the rails. Nevertheless, despite my disappointment with the direction the movie ultimately took, I don’t regret visiting it, and think it was worth the price of admission.