The success of The Maze Runner took some people by surprise. Despite the popularity of James Dashner’s series of young adult novels, many expected just another tepid entry into the teen dystopia market that would fall by the wayside, especially after the release was pushed back more than six months. Part of what makes the movie work as well as it does are the special effects, which were handled on a small budget, at least for this kind of picture, and this featurette digs into two aspects of this: the maze itself, and the monsters, called Grievers. And with profitability, comes a franchise, and the first follow up, The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, continues to add strong actors to the ever growing cast.
Reading the book, it has a unique hook, but I admittedly didn’t think much of the writing characterization. What it does well, however, is pacing and action, two things that translate to a movie screen, and it’s one of those stories that is tailor made for an adaptation. Director Wes Ball, working with limited resources, shot as much as he could practically, but given the size and scope of the setting and story, that just wasn’t possible.