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Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Scorch Trials

First there was the Maze, now there’s the Scorch. In James Dashner’s sequel novel “The Scorch Trials,” the Gladers enter into phase two of their testing, or at least that’s what happens in the book…

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The Maze was just the beginning. Photo Credit:

The movie adaptation cancels out the entire trials part and moves into an obvious lottery system resembling one like in the film “The Island,” but in “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” a certain amount of kids are sent to a safe haven. Only a few names are called each day, and the kids are never seen again. This cliche made the scene unnecessary.

This probably caused the screenwriters to tweak the plot having the Gladers escape from their rescuers after finding their connection with WICKED (World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department, W.C.K.D. in the films). The group makes it outside only to enter the Scorch where the cities have turned to sand and rubble because a sun flare burst so many years ago. This film explains that the sun burst caused “the flare,” an incurable virus that causes victims to turn into Cranks. These creatures are aggressive savages that sometimes rip their own eyes out due to the horrible visions from it. We only then find out that WICKED is trying to find a cure for the flare virus using the immune teens from the mazes.

The Gladers try to escape phase two of the test. Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly
The Escape
The Glader's find themselves trapped. Photo Credit:

Silly name and all, the Cranks in the film were terrifying! Although, the movie concept of the zombie people and their voices seem to have been taken from several other movies and video games (“the Last Of Us” spore causing virus, noises and the skyscraper chase scenes). The red veins that held the Cranks in the sewer were very much like the blood vessels from the Steven Spielberg film “War of the Worlds.”

The young-adult book trend has been going on for years, but The Maze Runner series is the first notable movie adaptation that has been centered around a young male lead. The book series is more in depth (as most book to movies are), but when the first movie cuts out details like the characters Thomas and Teresa’s telepathy, it then has to cut out how the Gladers never really escaped the Maze. This is most likely due to budget and time cuts, but it still doesn’t promise strong audience presence for future sequels.

The second film was still better than the first with notably less “cheese,” but production companies still expect audiences to read the books to understand the plot.

The Scorch Trials concept art, Photo Credit:

To make a good book-to-movie adaptation, it’s best to give enough information to the audience so the movie is complete with delivering the message and doesn’t necessarily need the movie-goer to read the book. But when the movie cuts so much out of the film and changes the plot altogether, the film should say “inspired by” so there isn’t so much expectation.

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