Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Shock Labyrinth, More Creepiness from Japan

Being a huge fan of Japanese horror ensures that I will never get bored on Netflix.  That genre has terrific sub-genres.  This blog has featured exploitation horror from Japan (see this bolg's entry on "Mutant Girls Squad" on May 26) and creepy Japanese horror (see "Infection" on April 6).  Today's feature, in 3D, is of the creepy sort.  2009's "The Shock Labyrinth" features similarities to "Infection" such as dark and scary hospitals, and past sins causing angst and horror later on in life.  The acting and direction is fantastic, and Misako Renbutsu is terrific as the mysterious Yuki (see photo below).
What would a horror movie be without breaking one of my cardinal rules of staying alive: If you saw him/her die earlier...don't let them in when they knock on your door later.  Rin (Ai Maeda) is blind and alone in her apartment waiting for Mikoto (Ryo Katsuji) to bring Ken (Yuya Yagira) home.  When Rin goes to her door to answer a knock, she sees a weird image of someone on the other side....this spells trouble if one is blind.  It's Yuki!  Big problem with that, Yuki died ten years ago.  Mikoto and Ken arrive home to this "surprise" and are discomforted.  Apparently something happened ten years ago while, as children, they all went to an amusement park.  Whatever happened necessitated Yuki's apparent death and caused Ken to move away.  In utter confusion, our trio bring Yuki home to an equally perplexed sister, Miyu (Erina Mizuno), pictured below.  The now quartet then brings Yuki, who is acting strange (....to say the least), to a hospital.  The hospital is deserted and strange becomes downright eerie.  Of course, the hospital is deserted and strange sights begin to appear.
 As the quartet begins to wander the deserted and unsettling hospital corridors, the building begins to resemble a "house of horrors" they visited ten years ago when whatever happened..happened. Flashbacks start filling us in on what that event was.  Gradually our protagonists realize that Yuki is a threat, and not someone they want to find.  The occurrence ten years ago begins to merge with the present, and unbeknownst to, the now teens, both segments in history begin to influence the other.
Our quartet comes face to face with a horrific episode which they had been trying to forget.  Is Yuki's return an omen of doom, or a chance for redemption?  This type of movie succeeds because all of us have instances in our childhoods which we try to forget, and are not proud of.  As adults, we don't even tell our friends about them, but they still haunt us.  In "The Shock Labyrinth," these haunts become real, not just subconscious, and pose a very real threat to safety, life and limb.

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