Dave Made A Maze a comic-adventure worth exploring

CUFF film a fantastical look at the artistic process with plenty of space to get lost inside.

Yeah, you absolutely want to see this.

Just wanted to state that up front for the people who don’t finish reading reviews, because this movie is great.

Remember that episode of Community where they build a blanket fort, and it keeps growing until it takes over the entire campus, creating new cultures and societies within its homemade walls? Director Bill Watterson’s Dave Made A Maze takes that concept and runs with it, going way, way farther than anything a single TV episode could cover, while simultaneously serving as a rollicking adventure story and a clever metaphor for the entire creative process.

Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) comes home to find that her artist boyfriend Dave (Nick Thune) has built a ridiculous little cardboard playhouse in the middle of their apartment. Dave sheepishly explains himself from inside the structure, where his voice sounds peculiarly distant and echo-ey.

“Hi honey; I built a labyrinth out of cardboard; it’s bigger on the inside, and I can’t come out because I’m lost, and I don’t want to break out, because this maze is really cool, and I built it, and I don’t want to wreck it.”


Annie reacts to this with the sort of weary exasperation of someone who knows that, as strange as this particular thing is, this is just like Dave. Friends are invited over, including a documentary film crew, and a couple of strangers for good measure. Everybody agrees that the cardboard fort is silly and weird, but they’re also slightly impressed by it, and really want to see inside.

That’s just the first few minutes of Dave Made A Maze. Then, we go inside the maze, and … holy crap  — it’s just so cool in there!

Sure, everything’s made out of ripped cardboard and string, but … wow. The gang looks for Dave, as the maze starts to become genuinely dangerous, with deadly booby traps and some … thing stalking them through the craft-paper corridors.

That’s all I’ll tell you about it other than to promise that you do not want to miss this one. Fantastic, in both senses of the word.

Dave Made A Maze screes Saturday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 9:45 p.m. at the Globe Cinema as part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival. For tickets please click here.

John Tebbutt is the Video Vulture. He has been writing about obscure and ridiculous cinema since 1997. You can keep up with his nonsense on his websiteFacebookTwitter and through episodes of a program he’s doing with NUTV