Dave Made a Maze
Directed by: Bill Watterson
Starring: Nick Thune, Meera Rohit Kumbhani, James Urbaniak, John Morrison, Kirsten Vangsness, Stephanie Allynne and Adam Busch
Run Time: 1h 20min
Genre: Adventure, Comedy with a bit of Horror
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
This gets high marks for originality alone. It’s conceptual and illogical yet makes perfect sense at the same time. It’s purely delightful. The film is entertaining in its presentation and its sometimes deep concealed view points on life and on art are disguised as indifference which makes it that much more interesting. There’s no other way to describe this film but as imaginative as hell. Dave Made a Maze is a movie that gets made when people come together and decide to create something special. I’ve seen a lot of films that have taken home the prize for Fresh and Different but this could be the most distinctive, at least the most in a long stretch of time. It has a fun and offbeat script. Perhaps it’s best enjoyed if you’re a filmmaker and know some of the jargon certain characters spout… no… doesn’t matter. Everyone will enjoy this playful and amusing yarn. It supports anyone who has ever had the initiative to start a project, a possible abstract project as this case goes, and it moves to steadily reveal, in a very clever way, what happens to those who are taken over by said creation.
Dave’s design is a maze, made mostly of refrigerator boxes. This project gets the attention of his friends and some onlookers once his girlfriend, Annie (Kumbhani) is unable to coax him out of it. The box maze is inside a small living room. They can converse with Dave so, when he says he’s stuck inside and can’t find his way out, they’re all convinced he has lost his mind. Reluctant to believe him, they say they’ll go inside and he cautions them not to. He warns them that it’s not finished yet. This may not seem like a big deal but when an artist is attached or seized by his invention, he’s in its clutches and it might not be a good idea to tempt your fate. They don’t listen and when they do wander in they see that it is indeed much bigger inside and find they should have listened to Dave as they, too, can’t escape.
It’s brilliant how the filmmakers create most of the world within the maze of paper or paper products of some kind. There is a maze within the maze and a regurgitating face spewing paper but as unthreatening as a world made of cardboard may seem, danger lurks around every corner for whatever is going on inside of poor Dave, it has manifested itself into this labyrinth that has now come to life. It is turning on those who have come to rescue their friend.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about Dave Made a Maze. It was creative, unique, bizarre yet even philosophical. I couldn’t have appreciated it more. From the paper bag hand puppets to the scene on angles and perspective… and let me not forget the giant colorful vagina attempting to lure you in. It’s clear that these filmmakers, like Dave, wanted to make something they’d be remembered for and what they made is something quite exceptional. It’ll hold up and be talked about for a long time and I’m on board for whatever they make next. Congratulations on this wonderful film.