late 00’s-early 10’s sci fi/fantasy film

So this one has been driving me nuts since about a week or so after I watched it.  I think I found it on Showtime or HBO after the bar one night and got REALLY in to it, but I can only remember one scene clearly.  Hoping for a miracle.

This film was pretty recent looking at the time, which I’d say was around 2009-2012.  It was American, live action, and definitely had a Wizard of Oz / the Labyrinth / Alice in Wonderland / Tim Burton feel to it, but it was not a kids film at all.  There were maybe two men and a woman, they’re traveling on foot through some kind of magical place, and they have to get through it (maybe to the center of the maze??) or they’ll be stuck there forever, or they’ll die, or one of their kid siblings will die.. Something like that.  Anyway, they happen across something like a casino.  The girl doesn’t want to go in, but the guy(s) is/are hungry or thirsty, or they think they can get directions or something, so they go in.

The people inside the casino are way overly animated in their speech/laughter, I think they may have even broken in to a song and dance..?  The girl gets separated (during the song and dance?) from the guy(s), goes down a short stair case and ends up in a long room with high ceilings and a green and purple tinge to it.  The room sounds like a video arcade, and there’s rows and rows of people playing pin ball.  She goes up to one of the pinball players and asks him how long he’d been there, he replies a number of days or weeks, then references some significant event that had his parents fighting or freaking out, possibly the something to do with the Cold War.  This reference freaks the girl out, and she asks him what year he thinks it is, and he says something like, “DUHH, it’s nineteen seventy *something*!” and references something else that happen recently in his world.  While he’s referencing this event, the music gets eerie and tense as the girl starts to freak out cause they’re on the clock, and this place accelerates time.

She runs back up the stairs to try and find the guy(s), but the other people in the casino start closing in around her with that over the top behavior, trends toward creepy circus, the makeup gets darker, the lighting gets more dramatic and they’re trying to feed her or get her to drink or smoke or something.  This builds and gets creepier, then I wanna say she screams herself awake, and she’s in a cave and the guy(s) is/are passed out and being absorbed in to the walls of the cave or something.  She wakes him/them up and gives him/them hell about how much time they’ve just lost, and they proceed with their task.

I want to say the girl had dark hair and brown eyes, but I’m not sure.  What I AM sure of is that the kid she was talking to at the pinball machine was kind of tall and pale with very straight, very blonde hair; maybe shoulder length.  He reminded me of the kid that played young Michael Myers in the Rob Zombie Halloween remake.

Any help would be much appreciated.  Thanks!!

4 thoughts on “late 00’s-early 10’s sci fi/fantasy film

    1. Wow… So “not a kids film at all” was WAY off. It must’ve been quite the evening I had falling into that one. Watched it again today, sure enough, that’s where the scene came from. My hazy recollection from 9 years ago was way darker lol.. never the less, you nailed it. Thanks!

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