DAVE MADE A MAZE (2017) is a whimsical adventure comedy about a frustrated artist who decides to build a cardboard maze in his living room, only to become trapped in it as it takes on a life of its own. When his girlfriend leads a rescue team into the maze, they discover it is far larger than they imagined, and it is alive. This was a fun movie that gets an A++ for childlike wonder and set design and a B for storytelling. The end result is fun if a little flat, but overall I liked it quite a bit.
There’s a great deal of inventiveness about this movie, from the fantastic design made out of cardboard and household objects to the booby traps that kill some of the maze’s visitors (who spurt confetti and wool instead of blood and guts) to the engaging scene that brought Dave and his girlfriend back together. There’s a lot of silliness to the character interactions, which you just run with as it’s part of the show. While I didn’t fall in love with the protagonist and his girlfriend, I was rooting for them–particularly Dave’s friend Gordon, who brought a lot of personality to the film.
There were some distracting elements, such as the documentary crew (some of Dave’s friends) who come along; the odd ending that doesn’t resolve much, outright abandons two characters, and leaves the maze’s effects permanent (belying the childlike fun that fuels the story atmosphere); and the lack of character development, as the solution to the maze is a reflection of the answer to Dave’s character flaw, though once it’s accomplished, aside from Dave’s relationship with his girlfriend, nothing much seems to have changed.
So while DAVE MADE A MAZE wasn’t as fulfilling nor deep as I’d hoped, it was a lot of fun, with some amazing visuals, loads of weirdness, and plenty of wonder. Overall a B+ for me.