ASIAN FILM - Article
14:57 - 10th July 2013, by Calum Waddell

Shock Labyrinth

Director Takashi Shimizu has gone from the ghostly going's-on of The Grudge pictures to the more recent Shock Labyrinth 3D. In an exclusive chat with NEO's Calum Waddell he speaks about his career in fear - past, present and future...

Having hit the heights of Hollywood with his super-successful scare-flicks The Grudge (2004) and The Grudge 2 (2006), it may have been a surprise to many that director Takashi Shimizu - who also helmed the original Ju-On movies - would return to his native Japan and retreat into altogether smaller productions. However, the good-natured filmmaker has done just this: opting to turn his talents to the ever-blossoming indigenous industry of The Land of the Rising Sun. The result has been, most recently, Shock Labyrinth 3D: a colourful caper that is best described as being aimed towards a younger demographic than Shimizu's more intense Grudge outings. However, where Shock Labyrinth really scored points back in Tokyo was by bringing 3D to the home market and bringing in boffin box office as a result...

"In the beginning, I wasn't specifically interested in the 3D filmmaking technology, so I had mixed emotions about the process," admits Shimizu when NEO catches up with him. "I actually thought I was being offered this as some kind of 'poison test' - to see if it would even take off in Japan (laughs). Although Shock Labyrinth was a success we did get a range of very different reactions to it - including some people who didn't know if they should be focusing on the story or the special effects. That indicated that some of the audience were not sure how to enjoy the 3D experience - although I think these confusions will be resolved in due course as the technology becomes more popular. To be honest, in my experience to date, the animated film How to Train your Dragon is the only 3D film that I have seen which maximized the potential of the new technology. Right now, I think that 3D is just a commercial element to add on to a conventional film but nothing more - although in the future there should be, and will be, 3D films that go beyond such recognition. I just hope that I am the person who makes it (laughs)."

Shock Labyrinth is out now in the UK from Chelsea Films.

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