The directorial debut feature film by Bill Watterson Dave Made a Maze had critics and audiences everywhere marveling at the dazzlingly original, Saturn Award-winning horror comedy.
While his girlfriend Annie is out of town, Dave decides to build a fort in his living room from cardboard boxes only to become trapped in a world that he himself created. It’s up to Annie and an oddball group of friends to rescue him, avoiding booby traps, giant human-eating Tiki faces, a bloodthirsty minotaur and fatally painful puns along the way.
Imagine Michel Gondry and Tim Burton given unlimited cardboard, sellotape and a film camera, and you’re somewhere close to what the fantastically talented Bill Watterson has created. After enjoying the movie so much ourselves we had to find out what horror movies inspire and scare him so its over to Bill for his horror favourite:
“There are films that linger because they showed me the super natural, the gory, the crazy, and it was wild and titillating: Hellraiser, Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th. There are camp classics we revisited purely for shock and laughs (or for their epic titles): Evil Dead 2, The Nail Gun Massacre, Blood Sucking Nazi Zombies, Brain Dead, Obayashi’s House. There are movies that scarred me because I saw them too young: Poltergeist, Creepshow, The Exorcist. There were creepy worlds that stuck with me in films like Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Dreamscape, Pan’s Labyrinth and the Universal Horror Classics. There are some recent efforts whose visuals, themes, and execution have gotten me excited, like Train to Busan and The Babadook. And there are so many fun worlds that incorporated elements of the horrific and fantastic that obviously informed my own work with Dave Made A Maze, from Labyrinth to The Goonies to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
But I’ll be goddamned if I can remember ever feeling more gripped, terrified, tense and in every way taken by a moment than I was during the climax of Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now. When I think of how a horror movie is ‘supposed’ to make you feel—watching in terror through your fingers, hoping that what’s about to happen isn’t going to happen (to the people on the screen OR to you the viewer), and being utterly shocked when what in retrospect seems like the inevitable ultimately does happen, I always come back to this one. That’s the pinnacle of how it’s done.
Masterful, indelible, made all the more powerful because of how invested you’ve become in the characters and their plight, and how your sense of the possible has been expanded by the atmosphere and world-building of everything that has lead up to the moment.
I’ve seen An American Werewolf in London, Psycho and John Carpenter’s The Thing more often, and more recently, and am awestruck by what’s on the screen. And in full disclosure, there is a LOT I haven’t seen. But I watch horror hoping to recapture the rapture of the feeling from that one perfect moment in Don’t Look Now, and for me, no one has come close.”
Dave Made a Maze is out on Blu-ray, Digital HD and premiering on Arrow Video Channel on Prime Video Channels 28th January 2019