Dave Made a Maze
by Hope Madden
Maybe you’re not up for 80 minutes of existential dread, of traversing the subconscious of a stunted artist – a man who cannot complete a project because you don’t have to fail if you never finish anything.
But do you feel like wandering through a cardboard maze? Because, dude, it is so cool in here!
Dave Made a Maze takes its millennial angst seriously enough to construct a remarkably thorough metaphor through the creation of this remarkable cardboard labyrinth.
Frustrated artist Dave (Nick Thune) has countless great ideas, no follow-through. All he really wanted to do while his girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) was out of town was fix the doorknob.
No, wait…that doorknob…look! An ant farm!
Inspired by the ant farm, Dave builds the world’s most elaborate and amazing labyrinth inside cardboard boxes taking up the bulk of his apartment. To Annie’s dismay, he won’t – or can’t – come out once she arrives home.
Plus, there’s a minotaur in there!
As Annie and Dave’s friends attempt a rescue, a charming, nerdy horror comedy of sorts emerges as a mash note to self-loathing and the creative process.
Adam Busch, playing Dave’s bearded bestie Gordon, is a delight, while the gang’s documentarian buddy Harry (James Urbaniak) and his crew (Scott Narver and Frank Caeti) are a self-referential hoot.
First time director Bill Watterson, working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Steven Sears, serves up a charmingly spot-on metaphorical intervention, with an amazing assist from production designers Trisha Gum and John Sumner with art director Jeff White.
Their cardboard world of Dave’s subconscious is endlessly fascinating, adorably dangerous and fun. Existential dread has never been so charming.