Notable Cast: Yuya Yagira, Ai Maeda, Misako Renbutsu, Ryo Katsuji
When a film is directed by Takashi Shimizu, the man who gave us one of the scariest ghost films ever made in "Ju-On", I simply cannot say no to it. No matter if his most current films have been relatively weak (cough "The Grudge 2" cough), he's due some redemption of sorts. That's why I was rather stoked to finally see "The Shock Labyrinth" in all of its wacky 3D J-Horror ghostly torture. The end results of this trippy journey into the hidden secrets of four Japanese youth is one of pretty mixed results, but I certainly dug the atmosphere and concept of the film.
It's reunion time! Three childhood friends are off to reconnect with one another after years of being apart. They are expecting good times to reminisce and find each other once again. What they don't expect is for a long missing friend to reappear at their doorstep. And once she falls ill while returning her home, they decide to take her to the nearest hospital...and the walls between dream, reality, and memory begin to blur as they collectively begin to remember why she went missing in the first place.
|"Let me reach...right at the camera...for that awesome 3D effect..."|
Yes and no. Stylistically speaking, "The Shock Labyrinth" is a relatively by the numbers J-Horror film. Shimizu focuses on the atmosphere and kicks in enough creepy fucking visuals to make you think twice about chasing pale Japanese children down hallways (or in this case around spiral staircases). In many ways, I love the subtlety of this film. There is a lot of cool visual detail work (the feathery floating pieces and the oddly creepy rabbit back pack for starters) that helps the obvious budget constraints of the film. As always, the director delivers some pretty creepy moments and strong atmospheric drive in the film.
|Good old Shimizu. Always littering my nightmares with the best visuals.|
|"It's just a couple of stories you are going to fall. Walk it off."|
Written By Matt Reifschneider
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