Childhood friends Ken (YŻya Yagira), Motoki (Ryo Katsuji), Rin (Ai Maeda), and Miyu (Erina Mizuno) haven't seen one another in a decade, but their ten-year dinner reunion at Rin's apartment is interrupted by the eerie arrival of Yuki (Misako Renbutsu), another member of their group who went missing in an amusement park's haunted house attraction when they were children. Yuki is hysterical, so they take her to the local hospital, but the deserted emergency room transforms into a sticky web of repressed memories and supernatural visions that dig at the reasons Yuki went missing in the first place.
It's been years since M. Night Shyamalan was relevant, but there's something about Shock Labyrinth's obnoxiously secretive nature that brings his name to mind, tiptoeing around crucial exposition so that it can whip the curtain away later in "big reveals" that don't add anything to the film except confusion and impatience. The film is actually so bent out of shape on a dramatic level that there's no solution: the twisty version is irritating, and the straightforward version would be dull (proof positive that any suspense is completely artificial). All of this wasted time would be better spent fleshing out the characters, but the flashback versions are reckless but inoccent, and the present-day versions are boring.
On top of the story woes, the editing by Zensuke Hori is remarkably sloppy, introducing major cuts with a tin ear to pacing, flow, or finesse. Opening the film with flashbacks to bookend the story, and starting with the aftermath of a situation before cutting back to show the events leading to it play as if someone not present in the editing bay described the cuts over the phone, and they were executed by a second party without understanding of purpose or intent. The film moves around because horror movies like this one are "supposed" to move around in a certain way, and yet the results are not just lazy but off the mark.
The only remaining thing Shock Labyrinth might've had going for it was the 3D, which seems like it might lend itself to a haunted house-style film set in a "labyrinth," but the effect is poorly executed, both from an artistic and technical standpoint. Similar to Sector 7, Shock Labyrinth is frequently accentuated with CGI, which is easily converted to modern 3D. Only a handful of Shimizu's shots really lend itself to the format, but most of those (like a straight-down angle of a girl walking up a blood-red spiral staircase) are purely metaphorical, and aren't meant to tell the story or even to be scary. Shock Labyrinth 3D is a bare-minimum effort from all involved, an assigment where "completion" seems to have been more important than "quality."
The Video and Audio
A glance at the 2D transfer reveals further problems. Contrast is weak and the image is murky throughout. Once the characters are inside the labyrinth, heavy grain obscures fine detail and turns skintones a sickly greenish-brown color. Intentionally hazy flashback sequences that looked okay in 3D are remarkably ugly in 2D, falling far beneath anything that could be called HD. Artifacting and some oversaturation are clearly visible. Many of these issues are probably source issues due to low budget, but the film doesn't look very good in 2D or 3D.
A DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track fares better than the video. Music is nicely balanced, and voices are clear. The track contains all sorts of good horror effects, from reversed voices to the thunderous crack of bones. One character is blind, and can "see" through audio waves, which provides an interesting aural effect. Even a knock at the door contains a little bit of a bassy punch that might raise a few hairs. It's not a phenomenal mix, but it's more than acceptable. An English DTS-HD 5.1 dub is also included, as well as both languages in Dolby Digital 2.0. English subtitles are, of course, also available.
Conclusion The money was there, the director was free, and the technology was interesting, but that's not enough of a reason to make a movie. Shimizu and company ought to have waited for a story that was as interesting as the rest of the package. Skip it.