Review: ‘The Shock Labyrinth’

"The Grudge" series helmer Takashi Shimizu's "The Shock Labyrinth" has a lot more schlock than shock.

Billed as the first Japanese film shot in HD 3D, “The Grudge” series helmer Takashi Shimizu’s “The Shock Labyrinth” has a lot more schlock than shock. This occasionally campy and not very frightening yarn about a group of kids trapped in a deadly haunted house attraction sports a fairly audacious (though utterly confusing) structure, making for a pop-style J-horror experiment mixing elements of “Final Destination” with the narrative complexities of “Last Year at Marienbad.” Less exportable than Shimizu’s previous pics, “Labyrinth” will reach a B.O. dead end, though trap doors may open for overseas homevid.

It takes at least an hour to figure out how the dead and buried Yuki (Misako Renbutsu) has come back to life to pursue her former best buddies, and even then it’s not clear who’s dead or alive, what’s past or present, and why a floating bunny rabbit backpack keeps popping up and out of the screen (or why anyone would find that scary). Too caught up in its own shuffled storytelling to evoke the slightest of shivers, the hokey production receives little enhancement from 3D, which looks to be there for marketing purposes only.

The Shock Labyrinth

Japan

Production

An Asmik Ace Ent., Agung production, in association with Fortissimo Films. (International sales: Fortissimo, Amsterdam.) Produced by Masayuki Tanishima, Satoru Ogura, Dai Miyazaki. Directed by Takashi Shimizu. Screenplay, Daisuke Hosaka.

Crew

Camera (color, HD 3D), Tsukasa Tanabe; editor, Zensuke Hori; music, Kuniaki Hashima; production designer, Nori Fukuda. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 14, 2010. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Yuya Yagira, Ai Maeda, Ryo Katsuji, Susuki Matsuo, Shoichiro Masumoto, Misako Renbutsu, Erina Mizuno.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading