Friday, 1 February 2013

The Maze (2010)

(Screener Copy)

Directed by Stephen Shimek

Written by Timothy Gutierrez, Katy Baldwin

Stars: Shalaina Fotheringham, Brandon Pearson, Clare Niederpruem, Kyle Paul.

Release: UK DVD October 8 2012, courtesy of 101 films

Many thanks to Steve Davey of 101 Films for sending me a copy of The Maze for review. The film is a watch-able hour or so of slasher mayhem which appears to struggle a bit due to its simplicity. Simplicity doesn't always have to be a bad thing in any movie, but something about The Maze just made me think ‘this could do with just a bit more shock value or frightening scenes’.

The premise is as follows; a group of pals break into a corn maze late at night and embark on a game of ‘tag’ (‘your IT’ for us Brits) and soon find themselves at the mercy of a killer hidden by a red hoodie. Said killer has a very twisted mind and is determined to bait and torment the group as much as he can before ending their lives and it is soon not looking good for anyone to escape intact.

My main issue with the film is that already mentioned. There just doesn't seem to be enough oomph in the plot and therefore some fairly decent actors don’t have a lot to work with which felt like a bit of a sad waste. The killer also doesn't have a strong enough identity and isn't at all frightening which is also a shame. Finally those looking for some decent kills will also not find much to take away from this film as while it has an OK bodycount, the actual deaths are your bog standard stab and slash. This would be fine in itself if the movie was genuinely scary but I am afraid in this instance this isn't the case.

On the plus side I really did enjoy the films setting. The corn maze was a cool idea for a slasher movie (ignoring films such as Children of the Corn as they are of a slightly different sub-genre) and it did look quite eerie at night. The acting as I say is really quite good and I did enjoy the performances for sure. I also thought the film delivered a strong end and if the first part of the film was of a similar quality in terms of action then I think I would have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more.

To be fair the crew behind The Maze should be commended for making an entertaining enough movie which despite its flaws does manage to end in style. You can buy the DVD right NOW in the UK and would say that it’s at least worth a watch; you may well have some fun with it.

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