Available on DVD and digital download from 19th April, Into the Labyrinth, starring Dustin Hoffman, is a twisted psychological thriller in Italian and American English with a great international cast about a girl’s abduction and the hunt for her kidnapper.
The film starts with the strange disappearance of a young girl Samantha Andretti (Valentina Bellè) and her subsequent reappearance. We find her in hospital where she’s being interviewed by a psychiatrist (Dustin Hoffman). She’s on psychotropic drugs and finds out she has been missing for 15 years. Her memory is limited and all she can remember is her time in the labyrinth, a dark maze where she recalls doing tasks in order to receive rewards of food and water. Meanwhile retired credit recovery detective Bruno Genko (Toni Servillo) has been requested by the girl’s family to find her kidnapper and even though she’s been found, he doesn’t have much time, having been told he only has a number of days to live by his doctor. He get’s a lead from a young escort acquaintance of his who tells him the girl’s discovery was made by an anonymous phone caller and so he starts following a trail of clues leading to stranger and more sinister characters.
It’s an intriguing crime mystery written and directed by Donato Carrisi who has delivered a dark and twisted film full of strange characters, with disturbing sounds and supernatural special effects that play with the senses. The cinematography captures the humid heatwave conditions with some overexposed shots and the locations, like the imposing missing people bureau, with wall to wall pictures of unsolved cases, set an ominous tone. The atmospheric orchestra score supervised by Giovanni Arcadu heightens the investigative mood and the film switches between Italian and American English adding to the film’s disorientating nature but without any apparent reason except to accommodate Dustin Hoffman’s role. Toni Servillo plays a wonderful retired detective on one last case, recording his notes into his dictaphone in his husky Italian voice, who likes listening to religious radio. Dustin Hoffman plays the reassuring psychiatrist with his own unmistakable voice and Valentina Bellè is absorbing as the disturbed female who tries to recount her experience in the labyrinth.
The film has the mysterious air of a Twin Peaks with its creepy characters and supernatural flashes that results in a provocative Italian film noir where not everything is as it seems. It pushes the boundaries of plausibility and gets a bit weird but is cemented together with some beautifully spoken dialogues and an immaculate Godfatheresque scoring.
Film: Into The Labyrinth
Director: Donato Carrisi
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Toni Servillo, Valentina Bellè
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Run time: 1hr 30min