I’ve really been looking forward to Dave Made a Maze since I initially wrote about the trailer. Fantasy can be hit or miss for me, and I was really excited to see where this quirky fantasy flick ended up. I’m really happy to say that Dave Made a Maze surpassed all of my expectations.
Directed by Bill Watterson in his directorial debut, the film stars Nick Thune as Dave, Meera Rohit Kumbhani as Annie, Criminal Minds’ Kirsten Vangsness as Jane, Adam Busch as Gordon, James Urbaniak as Harry and former WWE superstar John Hennigan as the Minotaur. Dave Made a Maze is about Dave, an artist who has not managed to complete anything significant in his career. He ends up building a cardboard fort in his living room out of frustration, only to wind up lost in its fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and creatures of his own creation.
This is a really quirky film with a great sense of humor. There were multiple times throughout that had me laughing out loud. It’s a smart sense of humor, almost self-aware. Even the death scenes were funny. They were gory, but not in the sense that you’re used to. For example, when Jane has their head slice off, and instead of blood, yarn shoots out of the exposed wound. It’s funny and it’s goofy, and I really enjoyed it. The characters were all quirky, as well.
The film begins when Annie, Dave’s girlfriend, gets home from a weekend away and she sees Dave’s cardboard fort taking up a big chunk of their living room. Dave keeps telling her that she can’t come in and that he doesn’t want her to get lost inside. Annie’s reactions to the warnings are humorous and real. It’s the exact way I would react if I walked in on my girlfriend telling me she was lost inside a big cardboard fort. James Urbaniak is the brightest star, in my opinion. His character, Harry, is filming a documentary on the friends trying to rescue Dave, and his constant attempts to film everything going on were pretty funny. It all was very inappropriate as the group was trying to survive the maze, and all Harry was focused on was getting the best shot. I loved it. There were thousands of paper cranes flying around, sometimes attacking and sometimes just hanging out. One room even turned the group into paper bag puppets!
Dave Made a Maze is a really attractive film, too. You would assume that a film based inside a cardboard fort wouldn’t be very aesthetically appealing, but you would be wrong! It wasn’t a very colorful film, but the sets were just so cool looking. The cardboard rooms feel large and rambling, which really helps suspend belief when you think that this is all just taking place in a cardboard fort in Dave’s living room. Hennigan’s Minotaur looked good, too. As a professional wrestler, Hennigan is in incredible shape, and the Minotaur really looked like something you did not want to mess with. It helped add an element of horror to an otherwise fairly horror-free film. Every time you saw the Minotaur, you knew that something bad could happen.
My only complaint with the film was that some of the characters weren’t all that developed. While the main core group of Dave, Annie, Gordon and Harry were well defined, there were others that entered the maze that felt more forgettable than anything, and the only part that I really remember from them were their death scenes. This isn’t thethe worst thing that could be wrong with a movie, but it was something I wasn’t a huge fan of.
Overall, though, Dave Made a Maze is a really quirky and fun film that does good on so many different levels. It’s attractive and humorous. It got me to suspend belief, which, ultimately, is the most important thing with fantasy films. The main group of characters were developed well, but unfortunately, the other, less important characters were not nearly as well defined. I do encourage everyone to check out the film when they get the chance, however, as it’s definitely one of the most fun films I’ve seen in awhile. Check out the trailer for Dave Made a Maze below, and stay tuned for any other news on the film!