‘Tis the season to get a little bit spooky, and it is seemingly a good time to take in some classics as well.
The Labyrinth is a musical fantasy film directed by Jim Henson, which is automatically going to be weird and fantastic, starring David Bowie (obvious bonus).
If you’ve come this far in your life and you haven’t seen it, you should probably get on that. I was shocked that a few of my friends still hadn’t seen it, and I was very happy to show them the beautiful weirdness.
Bowie plays the goblin king Jareth, a strange and mystical man who is uncanny and cruel. Sarah is a teenager, and gets caught up trying to reach the goblin king to save her little brother, but first she must navigate the labyrinth.
Jim Henson was a master puppeteer. His son, Brian, is at the helm of the main character puppet, Hoggle, and does the voice for the two-faced goblin. Some Hoggle parts in the film are played by an actor in a body suit. There has to be at least 100 puppets in the film, all decked out in creepy goblin attire.
So, the movie isn’t amazing, and it didn’t reach box office success, and it was widely perceived as being a failure. But, it has gathered a cult following, and if you honestly take it for what it is, the movie is just the right amount of strange and bizarre.
Bowie wrote most of the music, which doesn’t always line up with exactly what is happening in the movie, and there are a lot of side quests from the main story line. At one point, the girl is poisoned and goes on a wild ballroom trip with Jareth… That sort of thing happens a lot in this movie.
The work and effort that went into creating this movie is something to revel at. The costumes and the intricate details of the goblins and the scenery are pretty neat. The film definitely takes on creative inspiration from many artists, including M.C. Escher, and combines all different worlds into one seamless place. There were many times watching The Labyrinth that we though other movies derived their inspiration from the places and scenes that Henson put together.
For another wicked and weird movie directed by Henson, check out The Dark Crystal. What was supposed to be a family movie got creepy quickly, as the puppets and storyline add an irreplaceable darkness to this movie.
Considering that both of these movies were underrated in the ’80s, anyone who hasn’t seen them is in for a real treat. Labyrinth will leave you feeling strange, but hopefully you will enjoy the movie. The ending is a bit cheesy, but I think it had to happen that way to lighten the mood after a stressful trip through the fantasy world inside the labyrinth.
I give Labyrinth eight out of 10 popcorns, because it really is a classic that everyone should watch.