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Film / Minotaur

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In his maze, all paths lead to the grave

Minotaur is a 2006 movie directed by Jonathan English starring Tom Hardy, Rutger Hauer and Tony Todd, loosely inspired by the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. During the ancient times, the Minoan Empire preys over its citizens' lives every three years when they capture eight youths and give them as sacrifice to their living god, the Minotaur, an abomination born from the union of men and beast. Theo (played by Hardy) is the son of a village's chieftain had his girlfriend sacrificed three years ago, but he is warned by a prophetess that she is still alive inside the Labyrinth. He volunteers to be sent to Minos in order to rescue her, but he needs to use his wits to survive the maze and its monstrous inhabitant.

Minotaur contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Name Change: Theseus is called Theo in this movie, his father Aegeus is now Cyrnan, Athens is renamed Thena while Ariadne becomes Raphaella and the kingdom of Crete is renamed Minos Empire.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Deucalion was a hero and a member of the Argonauts in the myths, here he's an incestuous tyrant.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Minotaur is not a man with a head of a bull, but a skinless zombie-like monster that resembles a bull.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: How the Minotaur was conceived just like in the original myths.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Raphaella is King Deucalion's sister and his Sex Slave.
  • Cain and Abel: Raphaella kills her brother Deucalion at the end of the movie.
  • The Caligula: King Deucalion, due to keeping a demented cult that venerates an abomination as god and forcing his own sister to be his Sex Slave.
  • Composite Character:
    • King Minos' antagonistic role is given to his son Deucalion.
    • The Minotaur takes the role of its father, the Cretan Bull, in the death of a Cretan prince.
  • Dead All Along: Theo's girlfriend Fion died a long time ago.
  • Dwindling Party: The eight villagers trapped in the labyrinth. At the end of the movie, only Theo and Mona survive.
  • The Empire: The Minos Empire uses the Minotaur cult to oppress Theo's village.
  • Frame-Up: The Minotaur devoured one of his human siblings and as such, Theo's village was blamed for his death, requiring the sacrifice of its members as way of appeasement.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How the Minotaur meets its end - when it makes one final charge at Theo, the man uses its severed horn as a pike, and skewers the beast as it reaches him, killing it for good.
  • In Name Only: This movie just barely has any similarities with the myth it inspired, the only thing it has in common is the titular monster's conception and it being trapped in the Labyrinth. The main hero doesn't have background or even the same name for that matter and might as well be a completely original character.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The Minotaur, naturally although not like most works depict him (See Animalistic Abomination).
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Theo creates an escape from the Labyrinth by striking sparks against a vent, creating an explosion that blows a hole in the palace floor.
  • Sword and Sandal: Somewhat, since its inspired by Greek myths, but doesn't have any obvious Greek elements.
  • To Serve Man: The Minotaur has a taste of human flesh and his brother King Deucalion arranges by feeding the villagers to him.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Played with. The village girls are said to be virgins, but the Minotaur isn't picky about who gets sacrificed.