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Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cast: Andrew Roth, Liana Werner Gray, Erik Williams, Stephanie L. Lomenick

Director: Mitesh Kumar Patel

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller

Year: 2011

Rating: NR

"The Man in the Maze" centers around four college students on a field trip to learn more about the American Indian Trail of Tears. While traipsing through the woods, however, they stumble upon an Indian burial mound that marks the burial site of a Native American family that died on the trail. The mound was cursed by a distraught family member, and whoever disturbs it unleashes trouble and winds up lost in a maze, terrorized by an unknown force.

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First of all I want to thank Director, Mitesh Kumar Patel for sending me out a copy of his film for review. I intentionally stayed away from other reviews on this so not to spoil the film for myself so I was going off the poster and the simple synopsis above going into the film. I did find out early that it wasn't what I quite expected. I was expecting a straight forward slasher film about a group of people that get lost in the woods only to be taken out one by one by a madman and yes there's a group of young people, there's plenty of woods and there's a madman that has his face covered but it's no ordinary slasher film like I thought it was going to be. Similar to the 2007 Spanish film, "Timecrimes," you can certainly see where at least some of the inspiration came from.

The film starts off a little slow and it takes it's time getting to the good stuff, there's a lot of walking and talking with some humor tossed in but I was never bored and I felt the film was both clever and engaging. It's also a smart film that almost demands a second look if only to pick up on some things you might of missed the first time. The story is fairly complex and to go into a lot of details about it here would only ruin it for those of you waiting to see it.

Like all Indie films "The Man in The Maze" is not without it's flaws but I feel they're too minor to even mention here and the good certainly out weighs the bad here. The cast did a good job playing out their characters and the woods helped in creating the right mood. There's really not much in the way of gore but the effects that are use towards the end of the film were pretty impressive considering the budget here. This is Mitesh Kumar Patel's first film and I felt he did a good job and I can see him only getting better with each film that follows, I look forward to see what he has coming next.

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"The Man in The Maze" is an impressive debut that was a favorite at festival across the country including winning the silver award at the Oregon Film Awards. All the films awards and good word of mouth are for good reason, it's mysterious, suspenseful and thoroughly engaging. If you're a horror fan I highly recommend checking this one out. I had a good time watching this and I loved the film's original take on the genre and the many twists it introduced. I am not sure when the film will be released on DVD but you can follow it's progress over at it's Facebook page HERE.

Released by R Squared Films

*** 1/2 Out Of *****