No Escape: Portal fan-film

"No Escape" is an addition to the growing canon of high-production-value short fanfilms inspired by Portal/Portal II. Though simpler in plot than "Beyond Aperture," it's nevertheless a pretty pulse-pounding bit of entertainment, and unmistakably affectionate toward the original source.

Portal: No Escape (via Global Nerdy)


  1. This is awesome as a tour de force / proof of concept.  I suspect it’s exactly the right length for what it’s doing.  I’m not sure it would survive the jump to feature-length film.  

  2. Dans No Escape is simply amazing in its portrayal of captivity. It induces a little fear psychosis and has a distant cousin in The Truman Show.

  3. Well don! I want to see more! the captivity scene here is very emotionally cold. Compare with the Korean film OLD BOY which was based on a Japanese comic.

  4. Well, the original Portal game contained about a feature film’s length of gameplay (if you edit out all the gruesome deaths) so it seems to me like it would be possible to make a feature-length film.

    It would basically be a duet between the lead character trying to get out, and GLaDOS.   (I have yet to play Portal 2, so I can’t comment on its plot or the feasibility of adapting it.)  Instead of the one-way conversation, you could actually have a character talking with the insane AI.  The twisted love story of sorts would resonate a lot more.

    I do wonder if it would be too much to add a display on the companion cubes where they could express themselves, in a puppy dog meets R2D2 kind of way.

    Also, if someone can figure out how to make the basic plot of Portal 1 work as proper feature film, without completely changing it around, or adding unnecessary characters, it would go a long way towards showing how a proper Metroid movie could be made, since the solitary nature of both games tends to be an obstacle for “conventional” filmmaking.

    1. “I do wonder if it would be too much to add a display on the companion
      cubes where they could express themselves, in a puppy dog meets R2D2
      kind of way.”

      I think that would be too much.  I thought the brilliance of the companion cube was the fact that it was so completely blank that you ended up putting you into it.  When GLADIOS told me what she did when I did what she asked of me to the cube I was actually emotionally sad.  It’s a cube like any other but with a heart, how did I have any emotional connection to it?  But I did.  Brilliant.

    2. “you could actually have a character talking with the insane AI”
      I disagree. What makes Chell such an alluring character is that she plays all her cards close to the vest. We don´t really know where she came from or what actually motivates her, so we can project ourselves into her if we like.  In Portal2 she is actually getting ribbed for this by the various speaking characters – is she mute, or is she just refusing to communicate? It’s adressed, but never explained.
      She’s the mysterious gunfighter from a Sergio Leone western, or Bobba Fett before the new movies ruined it. In Portal2 she has talkative sidekicks, though. Also a spaghetti western callback of sorts.

  5. I don’t really play games much (I know, for shame) but I would totally watch this movie. Also: I am inspired by that actresses biceps.

  6. Not even a single credit line to VALVe? That strikes me as fishy. Is this another one of their viral marketing attempts?

  7. I wonder why GladOS is running a test chamber with what seem to be Combine soldiers (Robots? Defrosted test subjects in costumes?) Clever of the maker to dip into, but not to far into, the promise of ultimate crossover between Portal and Half-Life.

  8. I actually like it when the bad guy wins once in a while. I don’t want protagonists to assume they’ll prevail just because they think they’re the good guys….

    1. And that’s why The Empire Strikes Back is the best.  The heros don’t win.  They escape.

  9. They did that emoticon face thing with robots in MOON. It worked there, but it would detract from the cool feeling here.

    And that was awesome, to add my feeble voice to the chorus.

    1. I thought the actress whose face was used was from Brazil, and of mixed lineage. It’s not completely fair to call for an Asian as if everything else doesn’t matter? It isn’t as if any Asian could stand in, after all.

       I agree the actress cast in this short doesn’t really look like the game character though. 

  10. Couple comments– one, I don’t think this is actually meant to be Chell, just another poor test subject dragged into testing by Aperture. I saw a companion video online that edited in a comment from GLaDOS at the end, but quite honestly given the more military nature of this facility, I have to wonder if perhaps this is set before the construction of GLaDOS, or at least before she was “woken up.” There are no personnel at the Aperture facilities we see after the first “take your daughter to work day.” Given the scene at the beginning with what looks like blood on the woman’s shirt, it’s totally possible she was taken off the streets, which seemed to be Aperture’s preferred method of acquiring test subjects in the 70’s. (“Who wants $60?”)

    Although honestly I don’t know that the filmmakers were thinking that hard about it; this seems to be just a very well-made tribute pieces. (I also enjoyed the inclusion of ‘flinging’ mechanics into the action.)

  11. Does anyone know why BB links to are showing up as errors in my Chrome? When I try to visit the website directly, I just see a Google page (probably redirected). I’m in the US, and Comcast is my ISP.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

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