Monday, January 12, 2015

The Labyrinth Review

This is a pseudo-review for the 1986 movie The Labyrinth. I cannot do an unbiased review of this movie, so just keep that in mind :)

    Sarah is spoiled, bratty, imaginative girl stuck in a fairy tale world. She is cursed with a step-mother who loves her, and is cruelly forced to care for her baby half-brother for a few hours once a week (if it doesn't interfere with her plans). With such an unfair life, it's no surprise that that Sarah fantasizes about the Goblin King, who is horribly in love with her, taking her brother away forever. One night, after her brother has stopped crying, she can take it no longer! She cries out that she wishes the Goblin King would take little Toby away.... and he does! Sarah finds this immensely surprising, but, filled with regret, she is allowed to enter the Goblin King's Labyrinth, and is given thirteen hours to get to the castle in the center and save her brother. She embarks on a fairy tale adventure filled with confusing twists and turns, glitter, David Bowie songs, and tons of Jim Henson puppets. 

Spiritual Content: n/a
     There really isn't any. This is actually one of the only real fairy tale movies I've ever seen outside of Disney. There are goblins, and fairy tale magic, and tons of glitter. That's about it. 

Violence: n/a
    Again, not much here. There's a sort of battle, but it's a muppet battle. This is ostensibly a children's movie.

Sexual Content: lolz
Well, there isn't anything explicit. There isn't even any kissing. Although David Bowie does wear some very... ahem... tight pants. 

Plot: 4/10
Ok, this is my great effort to be unbiased. Is it a good story? Eeh... Not exactly? No, not really. Ok, I said it, but can I just also say ohmygoshIlovethismoviesomuch! One, it's a real fairy tale. I didn't have a two. But it is a real fairy tale. There's faerie magic that isn't exactly good or bad, but that's really tricky. The film actually has so incredibly clever moments! Morally it can be a bit heavy handed at times, but the story is rather simple and straightforward, even if it's a bit stupid at times. I love it. I realize that was not a great defense of the story. I'm moving on now. 

Character: 7/10
I love these characters so much. Sarah is the biggest whiny baby in the world. She really is. Her catchphrase is, and I quote, "It's not fair." Which is not really true, in the real world anyways. She has a point when she's in the Goblin city, but that's kind of the moral lesson of the film. Sarah goes through a pretty good transformation. She transforms from a childish spoiled brat, to a nicer, friendlier girl who learns that life isn't fair, and to get over it.

But best of all, is the Goblin King himself (A.K.A. Jareth, A.K.A. David Bowie). He is just a great, glittery, musical force within the film. I can't even explain how majestic he is. He's supposed to be in love with Sarah (I guess?), but he mostly just irritates the crap out of her, calls her out for being a spoiled brat, and generally has fun ruining everything for everyone. He's fantastic. 

There are other characters, played primarily by puppets, which are great, but they're hard to explain. You have to watch the film to get a good sense of character like Hoggle and Ludo, and the rest of the crazy muppet creations that inhabit this Alice in Wonderland kind of world. The puppets themselves, (just on aesthetic note) are fabulous. 

Theme: 3/10
Life isn't fair, but that's just the way it is. BOOM. Theme right there (and that is a direct quote). 

Overall Conclusion: 9.5/10
"What?" You ask, "How can this movie get an almost perfect overall score given the scores--"
This movie is almost perfect. It is. It is probably carried solely on the grounds that it is beautiful. 
Look at how beautiful that is. Look. I swear, there is glitter literally everywhere in this movie. It covers tree stumps, rocks, the ground, David Bowie, everything. I wouldn't be surprised if that's where, like 90% of their budget went, glitter, and those crystal balls that David Bowie flooshed around with his hands. Jim Henson captured the sort of dark glamour fairy tale aesthetic perfectly. And, I mean, capturing and aesthetic can be a big deal. If you combine that with some good characters, I don't care how crappy your plot is, you will have a movie people will love. And people do. This is a great cult classic movie. If you choose to watch it, don't expect it to be a fabulous movie, because it isn't. But if you are content to let yourself be swept away by an 80's glam rock fairy tale, then this is the movie for you.


  1. Laughed so hard over this. No, I haven't seen this movie, but you kind of make me want to ;)

    1. Haha, well you know, my aim was to please as well as instruct :p It is a fun movie. Part of me wishes I'd watched it as a child, then I would have given it a ten/ten since the obsessive love I inevitably would have felt for this film would have stayed with me into adulthood. You should give it a try. It's on Netflix I'm pretty sure if your family has that. Or you could watch it on a friend's Netflix. You know... if you wanted. :)

    2. haha. I finally got my parents to let me get a netflix free trial, so we'll see what I can do :)


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