Into the Labyrinth
Italian mystery has violence, language, nudity, trauma.
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Into the Labyrinth
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Into the Labyrinth is an Italian-language (with English subtitles and some scenes in English) mystery-thriller with language, horror themes, and some violence. It tells the story of the aftermath of the abduction of Samantha Andretti (Valentina Bellè), who reappears 15 years after she went missing. The movie's bleak premise means that it has very few positive messages, although there are positive role models among its policemen and doctors, such as Dr. Green (Dustin Hoffman) and detective Bruno Genko (Toni Servillo), who try to help catch a kidnapper. Other characters are portrayed as being liars and psychopaths who need to be stopped. Violence features intermittently, as the case against Samantha's abductor builds and uncovers more clues about their identity. This ranges from minor scuffles and the initial abduction to attempted murder, with blood and bloody wounds shown on-screen. There is no explicit sex, although there is some female and male nudity, including a murder victim who appears partially clothed. At one point a female character is asked to undress. Swearing is infrequent and in the context of characters who are traumatized, angry, or in danger. Words include "f--k," "motherf--ker," "s--t," "bitch," and "whore." Some characters smoke socially and while driving, and sometimes alongside drinking alcohol in moderation.
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What's the Story?
In INTO THE LABYRINTH, Samantha Andretti (Valentina Bellè) suddenly reappears 15 years after her abduction. An American specialist, Dr. Green (Dustin Hoffman), tries to piece together what happened by her hospital bedside, while police detective Bruno Genko (Toni Servillo) conducts a field investigation in search of clues.
Is It Any Good?
Based on his own novel, the problem with director Donato Carrisi's big screen adaptation is that it doesn't seem to know what to do with its own plot points. Into the Labyrinth presents a jumble of thriller and horror movie clichés then asks its audience to watch as it attempts to navigate its way through them. After a promising setup between the recently recovered Samantha and Dr. Green that is conducted in English, the movie switches to its native Italian as we follow police detective Bruno Genko trying to crack the case of Samantha's kidnapper. The first of many confusing and convoluted switches, the movie's dual-language dialogue is presumably done to accommodate the non-Italian speaking Hoffman, who puts in a dependable turn as Green but is not the movie's lead, as the poster suggests.
Much of the rest of the story plays out like a gentler installment of the Saw franchise, swapping torture and gore for shoe-leather detective work and intrigue. Like Hoffman, Servillo is a better actor than the material, and does his best to keep Genko's storyline watchable. The final plot twist arrives late and predictably, bringing us to a tedious, over-long conclusion that mirrors the rest of the movie's plodding pace. This is not so much a labyrinth thriller as one that gets itself lost without a map.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in Into the Labyrinth. Did the blood and gore seem over the top? Did the violent scenes help tell the story in an effective way? Was it shocking or thrilling? Why? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
There is some strong language in the movie. Did it seem justified in the context of the scenes it was used? If so, in what way?
Discuss the nudity in the movie. Was it handled sensitively? Why does that matter?
Discuss the movie's surreal elements and flashback scenes. Did you find these dramatic, or scary? Did they add to the story or distract you from its real-world setting? What's the appeal of scary movies?
How did you find the fact that the film switched between English and Italian? Was it confusing? Why do you think the filmmakers did this?
- On DVD or streaming: October 9, 2020
- Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Toni Servillo, Valentina Belle
- Director: Donato Carrisi
- Studio: Brainstorm Media
- Genre: Thriller
- Topics: Book Characters
- Run time: 130 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 18, 2023
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