Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Takashi Shimizu set to direct Japan's first 3D horror feature "The Shock Labyrinth"

by Chris MaGee

It seems that a lot of the big names of the J-Horror boom have been moving on stylistically in the past couple of years. Kiyoshi Kurosawa has moved onto international acclaim with his 2008 Drama "Tokyo Sonata", and Hideo Nakata, while not abandoning chills completely, has broadened his horizons with the "Death Note" spin-off "L: Change the World" and is currently working on the English-language thriller "Chatroom". While these to horror heavy-weights have moved on from lank-haired Japanese ghost girls "Ju-on" director Takashi Shimizu (above) has kept the scares coming with films like "Marebito", "Reincarnation" and his Hollywood remakes "The Grudge" and "The Grudge 2". Now there's word from Screen Daily and Tokyograph that the 37-year-old director will be helming Japan's first live-action 3D feature film.

Based on an original screenplay by Daisuke Hosaka and titled "The Shock Labyrinth" the film chronicles the surprise and confusion of a group of young people following the return of their friend Yuki who went missing a decade before, and her mysterious illness that causes them to rush her to the hospital. The only thing is that instead of arriving at the hospital emergency the friends find themselves trapped in a haunted labyrinth-like mansion.

The cast, headed up by "Nobody Knows" star Yuya Yagira, are currently filming at the Senritsu Meikyu haunted house attraction at the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park. It was this attraction, which holds the Guinness World Record for the longest haunted house attraction in the world, that inspired the film and Shimizu, Yagira and his castmates Misako Renbutsu, Ryo Katsuji, Ai Maeda, Erina Mizuno, and Suzuki Matsuo are currently doing night shoots at the park.

"The Shock Labyrinth" is due in Japanese theatres in October.

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