The Maze

If you ever plan on watching The Maze, don't read this review. I can't talk about this film without describing the ending. Well, I could, but I wouldn't have much to say. If spoilers don't offend your sensibilities, then by all means, read on. Where the hell do I start? The Maze is an aberration, the kind of abnormality that our main character hides from the rest of the world. Gerald MacTeam is summoned to his family estate when his uncle is presumably indisposed by a mysterious illness. After kissing his fiancee goodbye, he rushes off to Craven Castle (yep, that's what it's called), promising to return in time for his nuptials. But what will come first, the clang of wedding bells or the elegiac timbre of a death knell?

God, this movie doesn't deserve such an intriguing synopsis. This is what I should have written; "A man is embarrassed by the fact that his uncle is a giant frog." I understand that theater patrons were used to ridiculous plots back in the day, but did anyone buy this bullshit in 1953? I'm genuinely curious. I want to know how this b-movie disguised as an a-movie was perceived upon its release. Were viewers shaking in their seats or throwing popcorn at the screen? I should probably fill you in on why The Maze is so...unbelievable.

The first hour? Excellent. The characters were fleshed out, the visuals were appetizing and the mystery angle had me by the balls. I couldn't wait for all of the questions to be answered, and that's exactly how I was supposed to feel. What is Gerald trying to keep from his friends? What's with the botanic labyrinth? Why is there an escarpment of seaweed in Gerald's bedroom? Why is Aunt Edith a rigid bitch? Thankfully, the resolution ties up most of the loose ends. You see, one of Gerald's ancestors is a fucking frog. Got all that? A 200-year-old frog that hops down the staircase and wades in a pond that is tucked away in the center of a hedge maze.

Oh, and it's a friendly frog. Just to clarify, The Maze is a spooky, subdued chiller about a self-conscious frog. As the end credits rolled, I sat in both awe and disbelief. This film is either outrageously stupid or outrageously profound. I'm not sure which. It's strong enough to recommend, but if you go in fresh (i.e. spoiler-free), your brain might explode. You might fly into a violent rage. You might even contract Down Syndrome. You'll have something to review on your website, though. Better than Frogs; less enjoyable than Hell Comes to Frogtown. Then again, everything is less enjoyable than Hell Comes to Frogtown.

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