A large lift shoots upwards carrying a lonely, panicked young man. After a few moments of darkness, the lift opens and a sea of young male faces is peering down at a boy without any memory of his past or origins. The only thing all these boys remember are their names.

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) is the latest arrival in The Glade—a fertile, green plateau contained by insurmountable walls. But these are no ordinary walls. They form the outer perimeter of a complex maze that changes orientation and its grid nightly.

The boys—some of whom have been there for three years—have devised a system for peaceful coexistence, dividing themselves by task and skill, establishing simple rules. One such skilled group are the maze runners who run around the labyrinth by day, mentally mapping its design in the hope that one day they will find a way out. But Thomas’s arrival sets off a violent and near-fatal chain of events, including numerous attacks by giant metallic creatures called the Grievers.

Thomas is convinced he can find a way out of the maze, but on the way to seeking answers of their past and the forces behind their “incarceration", the delicate, delusional balance of The Glade will be shattered.

As director Wes Ball builds the eeriness around the complex entrapment of a community of boys living a Lord Of The Flies type existence, he is ably aided by imaginative and well-executed production design and special effects. The young actors, led by O’Brien and supported by Aml Ameen, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Will Poulter, are sincere in this latest adult fiction on a dystopian world being converted to film which, in spite of its slipshod ending, is left open for a welcome sequel.

The Maze Runner released in theatres on Friday.

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