The real purpose of a film review is to recommend whether or not you should see a movie. In regard to Jim Henson’s 1986 ‘Labyrinth’, the answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’.
Will it go down in history as one of the great masterpieces of the 20th
century? Probably not. Does it have a cohesive, non-creepy plot line? No. Is it
of particularly high quality? Well that depends on whether you drink your
wine out of a bottle or a box. What it does have, however, is some genuinely
terrifying muppet characters, trippy visuals, an objectively fucked up
plotline, goblin king David Bowie at his peak and the infamous bulge.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, or your mind has shielded you from the
previous trauma, it is based on a teenager named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly)
who is obsessed with fairy tales and legends. While babysitting her younger
brother she wishes he would be taken away by goblins, and unlike when I wish
to be discovered as some billionaire’s long lost child, her wish comes true.
The goblin king Gareth (yes, I kid you not, that is his actual name) then
bargains that she can get her brother back if she navigates her way through
his labyrinth to his castle.
Why, you may ask, is this relatively standard fantasy movie plot so widely
considered emotionally scarring? Maybe it’s the ‘Saw’ style obstacles Sarah
faces within the maze, or the fact that the middle-aged Gareth has a creepy
obsession with marrying a fifteen-year-old, or even simply the pure 80s-ness
of the whole production – including but not limited to Bowies pants.
However the soundtrack, intricate sets, paradoxical visuals, and the fact
that nothing brings people together quite like emotional damage makes it
well worth a watch.
Plus, exam season is coming up and what better way to procrastinate than
tricking your unsuspecting friends into watching a “normal, non-scary film”