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It's a hospital! It's a death maze! It's a hospital and a death maze....!
Well Go USA / 89 Minutes / 2009 / Unrated / Street Date: May 8, 2012
Horror movies are allowed to be dumb - Linda Blair barfing split pea soup? Jamie Lee Curtis running around screaming? Fine - but when a creeper flick goes too far and ventures into severe and ever-deepening reservoirs of dipshit story devices and unbelievable (and unaffecting) scary scenarios, it's hard for a viewer not to get riled up. And Shock Labyrinth barely gets out of its opening credits before the whole thing starts falling apart at its core: this 3D picture is a nightmare, and not because of its hellish horror concoctions.
In Shock Labyrinth, a gaggle of good-looking teenagers find themselves in the presence of a buddy of theirs who died years ago. When this friend (Yuki) falls ill, they take her to a hospital, only it's not a hospital - it's a SHOCK LABYRINTH! We soon find out that this group of folks weren't innocent bystanders but were, in part, responsible for Yuki's unfortunate demise (or turn into a spirit-person), and they have to venture through the oddities and creepy-crawlies of this maze of terrors in order to find some sort of redemption for themselves and their obviously tortured pal.
The term 'dumb" unfortunately is accurate for pretty much every element of Shock Labyrinth's on-screen sensibilities. There are cool visual tricks and broken-porcelain-doll effects that have momentary effectiveness as moody shock tools, but there's nothing successful even on a surface-level investigation of Shock Labyrinth as a movie. Even genre pictures like Cube or Saw have shticks that somewhat forgive any narrative manhandling they broadcast, but Shock Labyrinth - with its gimmicky 3D in full swing - doesn't even have that working for it. You know exactly what's coming before it happens, and it zaps any potential fun Shock Labyrinth might have had.