Growing up as a kid, I loved watching detective stories. I fell in love with the dialogue, the action, and the reveal at the end when in some cases I’d know and sometimes I didn’t know who the real criminal was. The look was also a huge deal for me. The rugged, tired aspect was my favorite only because these detectives took cases nobody wanted to touch.
This brings me to my review of Into the Labyrinth, written and directed by Donato Carrisi (The Girl In The Fog 2017) a film based on his novel. It’s hard to talk about the movie without spoilers, but I will say that, while watching this, I was completely blown away and surprised by the twist and turns this film takes. It did feel like a maze at times.
Into the Labyrinth is a movie about murder, kidnapping, mental anguish, and deception. The film could easily be an anthology, but instead is just one film with two different characters going through a situation. We’re introduced to two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman (Midnight Cowboy 1969) who plays Dotter Green, an interrogator who’s helping a victim who was released from a prison maze after fifteen years. The victim, Valentina Belle (Catch 22 2019), plays Samantha Andretti. The rapport is great between the two, with Dotter a calm stoic person who’s trying to help Samantha remember her time in the prison. Dustin steals the scenes with his great acting. As the film primarily takes place in the hospital room with Samantha recalling her days, she explains what she endured, and quite frankly, it’s a terrifying journey with a scene that even shocked me on what we would do to survive. The final act of the movie is where Hoffman really shines. I won’t spoil it, but he gives a great performance that shows he’s a fantastic actor.
Into the Labyrinth also goes back to the Detective trying to solve the case. Enter Bruno Genko, played by Toni Servillo (The Great Beauty 2013). Bruno is a detective who finds out he’s dying and decides to solve one more case before he passes. The killer he is after is known as The Bunny Rabbit. It might not be a terrifying name, but the deeper he goes down the rabbit hole (no pun intended), the more pain and suffering he finds. I will admit there is a scene where Bruno is driving narrating his journey only to be part of a green screen. It doesn’t take away from the film, but being a fan of noir, I feel like it would be great to have that on set location at night with him speaking and smoking a cigarette. Toni does an amazing job especially since this is the first film I’ve seen him in not playing a stereotypical detective on the brink of death forcing himself to drink to speed the process or even caring about human life. He wants to solve the case. He wants to help others.
The city is considered to be any town in the world, but everyone speaks Italian and English. A heatwave is engulfing the city, which I felt was symbolic of the hell of murders and kidnapping matching what Bruno and the victims are going through.
Into the Labyrinth kept me guessing until the credits rolled. Even then, my jaw was on the floor trying to process what I just saw. This maze of a film has twists and turns that could drive a person mad trying to solve it. This film is now available on digital and DVD!