Usually, a hybrid film combining various genres would promise a refreshing take on the missing-kidnap-victim-mysteriously-returns -story but there is something unsettling about Into the Labyrinth and it’s not just the recurring bunny character. The film’s labyrinth is a dark and terrifying place, but so it seems is the world that the victims are dragged from.
When missing kidnapped girl Samantha (Valentina Bellè) is found years after she first disappeared, she is taken to hospital and examined by Dr Green (Dustin Hoffman) who is there to find out what happened to her in the labyrinth where she was kept. Meanwhile private investigator Genko (Toni Servillo) tries to track down Samantha’s kidnapper, leading him down many dark twists and turns and a glimpse into an even more disturbing mystery spanning decades.
It’s no secret that Dustin Hoffman is in this film, he’s planted on the poster, seemingly front and centre and you would expect him to be the main character, but these are marketing tactics once again. In the film, Hoffman does make an impact but not to the extent his name would carry him. Although Hoffman is decent in his role, it’s Toni Servillo who carries the weight of the story on his shoulders and has a far more interesting character to work with. Servillo, as the private detective who failed to find the kidnapped girl, is a broken man. Downtrodden and ridiculed by the detectives in charge of the case, he still never waivers from finding the truth. Servillo makes the character recognizable and still gives his character an edge to him, that you would believe he’d find the captor.
Weaving together horror, mystery, thriller and crime genre elements, the two stories running side by side mostly work well together. But Genko’s story is far more fascinating and you wish the film had gone further into this part of the mystery, particularly with the bunny fixation that the kidnapper seems to have. Both haunting and thrilling, you find yourself on the edge of your seat at moments, only to whisked away to a blank hospital room. These twists and turns are not all explained by the end which is even more infuriating. The major plot hole in the film surrounds Hoffman and his role in the whole thing which just adds to the confusion. Overall, director Donato Carrisi creates an unsettling atmospheric environment, whether it’s in the labyrinth, the hospital, a farmhouse or even a plain hospital room. Each character is fascinating, especially those we don’t spend much time with, but the convoluted plot veers dangerously off the edge, especially in the final act. It’s a shame the ending doesn’t make much sense, especially with the early promise for a great thriller.
Into the Labyrinth is out on digital April 19.