“The Maze Runner” follows an abduction plot line. Each month, a boy wakes up in a box with amnesia. The box is an underground elevator that rises to a mysterious, grassy surface called “the glade.” The glade is populated by a whole tribe of teenage boys (think “Lord of the Flies”), who live off of the land and pull together to survive. Surrounding the glade, is a gigantic maze. I think everyone can guess the plot from here. The maze is riddled with terrors, and the only way out of the relatively peaceful glade is to run through and out of the maze. The choice turns out to be an uneasy one. Every day, maze runners are sent into the maze to find a way out. But the boys realize that exiting the maze could be more dangerous than choosing to stay isolated in the glade. Should they escape into freedom or stay trapped in their captors’ maze for the rest of their lives?
This reminded me of alien abductions stories. The most memorable, supposedly true story, that I can recall is by Whitley Strieber. It’s called “Communion”. In the book, he recounts being kidnapped by aliens, taken to their spaceship, stripped naked, getting his rectum probed, experiencing medically induced erections, etc. It was an invasive experience. The aliens also gave him amnesia. He could only recall the experimentation they did on him after undergoing hypnosis. The part about experimentation and amnesia reminded me of “The Maze Runner.”
The boys, just from watching certain brief scenes in the movie, were obviously experimented on before being put in the maze. We don’t know to what extent they were experimented on, but they all have medically induced amnesia with selective memories. After a few days, they all remember their names. But some of them are eventually able to recall much more disturbing memories from their abductions.
That makes me wonder how anyone would feel about being abducted for medical experimentation purposes (by aliens or non-aliens). Whitley Strieber seems to have moved on by the end of his book. But what about the boys of “The Maze Runner?” They are forced to deal with dangerous, life threatening terrors, whereas Strieber only had to deal with some rectal probing and nudity during his kidnapping. The boys in the movie are stuck in an alien abduction-like scenario that has gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Will they be able to move on and coexist with their captors? Only the coming of sequels will tell.