LABYRINTHUS [Edinburgh Film Festival]

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Marshall

When young teen Frikke discovers a mysterious camera and a copy of an unreleased computer game, he soon realises the extent of the mystery he has stumbled upon. As local children begin falling into comas while their consciousnesses are uploaded into the game and become hunted by its sinister antagonist, Frikke must unravel the puzzle behind the game’s very existence if he wants to save them.

Parts of Labyrinthus will seem familiar from any number of films, mixing together basic premises such as getting sucked into a computer game world (Tron), the following of cryptic clues (The Goonies), and the navigation of an eldritch labyrinth (um… Labyrinth), but they come together in such a way that feels, if not wholly original, at least distinctive enough to stop you from quickly becoming bored with them.

The film establishes the rules of its digital otherworld with deft precision, principally that anything photographed by the camera will be transferred into the game, while its physical form left behind in the real world will begin to wither and die (any potential metaphysical implications such as soul transfer are wisely avoided).

The labyrinth’s various areas, such as an origami forest, a newspaper gorge or a quite literal house of cards are imagined well, if realised a little simply by rudimentary CGI, and function with their own internal logic. One particular scene involving how to weaken a bridge made of cardboard will get anyone with a juvenile sense of humour sniggering.

The kids are all likable and individual characters, and don’t even begin to approach the kind of precocious brats that confident child characters always the risk of becoming, meaning you never stop rooting for them to find their way home. The puzzles are straightforward enough and the villain’s unmasking won’t come as much of a surprise, but it is a family film so there’s no call for it to be overly complicated. While Labyrinthus is a far cry from the greatest of teenage adventure films, it’s certainly enjoyable enough for what it is.

LABYRINTHUS / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: DOUGLAS BOSWELL / SCREENPLAY: PIERRE DE CLERCQ / STARRING: SPENCER BOGAERT, EMMA VERLINDEN, FELIX MAESSCHALCK, POMMELIEN TIJS, PEPIJN CAUDRON, HERWIG ILEGEMS / RELEASE DATE: TBC

Expecting Rating: 7 out of 10

Actual Rating:
 


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