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