This is surprising, given that the Japanese horror feature was directed by Takashi Shimizu, the guy who birthed The Grudge franchise. Not that he’s an infallible filmmaker by any stretch of the imagination, but Labyrinth finds him revisiting those reliable themes, with the added dimension — literally — of playing in 3-D. (Well Go USA’s Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes both the 2-D and 3-D editions.)
Our story begins when a young woman named Yuki (Mosako Renbutsu, filling the requisite stringy-hair role) shows up on the doorstep of her blind friend, Rin (Ai Maeda, Battle Royale), who’s freaked out by the unannounced visit. Rin has every right to be, given that Yuki died about a decade earlier in an amusement-park accident where Rin, Yuki’s sister and two boy friends were present.
Now, those four pals drive Yuki to the hospital, because what else are they do with her? However, the medical center is not only abandoned, but closely resembles the interior of the park’s expansive haunted house where their lives went to crap 10 years ago. (Amusingly enough, it’s also the setting of the film’s press conference, which you can see on the disc’s extras.) They witness spirits of their younger selves of that fateful day and interact with them, which results in … well, utter plot confusion.
If you’re terrified of a rabbit backpack floating through walls — read: nobody — this Labryinth might have Shock in store. But really, that’s about as scary as a helium balloon … which is another element Shimizu forever has traversing the halls in slow-motion.
At least the man makes the film look as slick as jelly, and is able to work in a handful of creepy visuals; however, for a project meant to induce chills, it’s startlingly inert. I much prefer Well Go’s release last summer of two Grudge sequels in one, Ju-On: White Ghost / Black Ghost. —Rod Lott