Wed
Sep 11 2013 10:30am

Check Out Escape From Tomorrow, the “Ultimate Guerilla Film” That Was Shot Secretly at Disneyland

Escape From Tomorrow

Have you heard about Escape From Tomorrow? The film swept like a wildfire through Sundance, and has had critics and fans alike calling it the “ultimate guerilla film.” Let’s just say that if there’s something about Disneyland that has always struck you as a bit... off, you’ll really want to take a peek at this trailer.

Check out this black and white trailer. Prepare to be seriously disturbed by beloved images from your childhood. It’s super:

A fantasy horror film that takes place in Disneyland? How does one achieve such a lofty goal, you ask?

The answer is: In secret.

That’s right, director Randy Moore took his cast and crew and filmed this movie at both U.S. Disney theme parks by using cameras that blended in with tourist gear. The cast has their script pages on their smartphones. And because Moore was so careful to avoid using actual copyrighted material in the film (like songs and video), Disney hasn’t made any move so far to sue him.

Escape From Tomorrow poster

This is something of a miracle considering how terrifying Disney is known to be when guarding their material; someone who worked on my high school’s yearbook informed me that putting a picture of a Disney character anywhere in the yearbook was never allowed because Disney had lawyers specifically devoted to scouring material like that for copyright infringement. So the fact that Disney hasn’t attacked might mean they’re not sure how to yet. It has also been suggested that Disney may have been advised to ignore the film out of fear that a case would garner the feature even more attention and acclaim.

It might not make much of a difference because most who have seen the film are already singing its praises. Roger Ebert selected it for his film festival in Illinois just weeks before his passing. Moore has cited his relationship with his own father, a man who he no longer speak to, as inspiration for the film—following his parents divorce, his father would often take him to Disney World. He knew there was no other place to get the shots he needed.

Props to Mr. Moore and his impossible film. Here’s hoping we all get a chance to see it someday. Escape From Tomorrow proving to be something revolutionary, especially in light of what it got away with.


Emily Asher-Perrin thinks she would prefer to go to Disneyland more if it were that creepy. You can bug her on Twitter and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

4 comments
wandering-dreamer
1. wandering-dreamer
Ack, the trailer is down, must find another copy!
Sean Tabor
3. wingracer
I'm sure it will be available through somewhat illegal means before long. Which brings up an interesting ethical question. Is it ok to steal a film that stole its set?
Emily Asher-Perrin
4. EmilyAP
Got a new version of the trailer up, guys - thanks for the heads up!

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