Dave Made a Maze follows...well...Dave...and his friends as they try to survive and escape his surprisingly massive cardboard labyrinth populated with booby-traps and a blood-thirsty minotaur.
Dave Made a Maze Review
Easily one of the most clever films I have seen in a very long time, Dave Made a Maze is smart, inventive, and charming, to say the least of its positive characteristics. The plot is ridiculous and embraced from the beginning like a child's imagination in adult form. This guy Dave makes a maze that begins to grow on its own out of his control, and he and his friends must navigate its dangers and try and get out, to hilarious effect.
Its blend of adult wit and child-like wonder reminds me of the brilliant Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in that the imaginary realm has symbolism wrapped all over it. But where Eternal Sunshine latches onto its heavy existentialism, Dave's Maze stays light and fuzzy for much of its runtime.
Dave Made a Maze is perfectly self-aware in execution, allowing the audience to go on the insane adventure with the characters, but at times calling out the asinine plot and motif. In that regard, the heckling and exposition of Dave can get a bit tiring at times, but the fatigue doesn't last long, as we're onto the next creative, metaphor-riddled, booby-trapped room.
I laughed out loud on several occasions, taking in the sights of the cardboard structures and origami creatures that fill the world. I sometimes found myself engaged in the why of the motif, only to be interrupted by a goofy death or comedic banter. It was heart-warming and shameless, clever and superficial, all at the same time.
The movie is self-aware enough even to know when to not care. It pokes fun at genre film on occasion, particularly from my eyes pointing at the ridiculousness and drabness of found-footage through its self-proclaimed documentary team. Its heart is matched by its sets and effects work, giving us a look into the manifestations of a jaded man who doesn't know how to or doesn't want to grow up and conform to the world. There are countless lines that are funny and thought-provoking, analyzing our own motivations while also poking fun at them.
Dave Made a Maze is incredibly smart despite its purposefully dumb persona. It's deep moments are outweighed by its lightheartedness, and it works to deliver existential messages without bringing you down. It's a perfect movie for a fun evening, full of laughter with pensive aftertaste.
Horror Qualifier: 6/10
Horror Quality: 4/10
Film Quality: 8/10