The Maze Runner knows how to make a popular book a suspenseful film just by the use of music. Because this film takes place between four walls, and is outdoors there is ambiance underlying the whole film. Mostly of birds, wind and trees. Along with that, there is also slow instrumental music underscoring the film, and it especially unscores the important conversations. The movie has tribal music that speeds up and slows down to add to the outdoorsy and savage tone that the men convey throughout the whole film. This is important because the relationship between the boys is loving in some moments, and murderous and scary during others. Relationships fluctuate throughout the whole movie as does the music.
In one scene in particular, a character who is rabid is being put to death by the other men. It is a suspenseful moment because the character is pleading for his life, and the other character are still shoving him between the walls to his death. The music escalates there is loud drumming and the rhythms increases. This kept me on the edge of my chair and feeling the fear that the men felt in the moment. My heart started racing and I felt very involved with the on screen action. During the war scene there is a loud, upbeat music but, there are often breaks in the action with silence. It goes back and forth and fools the audience into thinking there is moments of relief and peace. This is rarely ever the case in this sci fi film.
In many scenes there was an underlying high pitched noise. Similar to a sound you hear if there is a ringing in your ear. During these scenes, things were unraveling between characters or something bad was about to happen. The high pitched noise was very suspenseful and made me believe that action was about to take place on screen.
The music throughout Maze Runner intentionally adds tension and stress to everyone watching it. It takes an action as simple as running and makes it a chase. No matter how many times I watch the movie the loud drums and fast rhythms keep me on my toes. There are moments in the movie where the boys are fighting and there are moments when they are working together. All moods are reflected in the movie underscore. There is inspirational music when there are deep conversations, and unity between character and the same song is often repeated under similar scenes.
With this Sci Fi film comes a lot of orchestrated music. This, in some moments, sets a peaceful tone. This gives the audience a chance to debrief on the high energy thrilling tone of the scenes before. Many times there is a peaceful scene with beautiful or nature underscore and sudden burst of loud trumpets. This happens when there is sudden breaks in the peace.
The expectations for this film are high because it is based off of a book, and many people have expectation for how suspenseful a scene is going to be. Without the description books provide, the fear and thrill is highly dependent on the music. I rate this film four cheesy chips out of five for the beautiful score as well as the upbeat music during stressful moments. The only thing that knocks off one cheesy chip is the huge fluctuations within scenes. There is peace one moment and fear for small spikes of time. It is inconsistent but the score is beautiful and therefor deserves a 4/5.