DVD Review: THE JUNGLE

jungle dvd

THE JUNGLE was directed by Andrew Traucki and stars Rupert Reid and Agoes Widjaya Soedjarwo and was filmed deep in the Indonesian jungle.

This found-footage rainforest thriller follows a pair of explorers who head out to the Indonesian jungle in search of a rare leopard so they can tag and study it. Upon arrival, they meet up with a pair of locals who serve as their guides and they head off into this wild and untamed setting. As the movie begins to play out and we watch this small group go deeper into  the jungle, they begin to see signs of what they think could be this leopard but it ends up being a local legend, what is described as a werewolf-like creature that hides in the shadows. The team ignores the warnings the guides give them to turn back and their expedition ends up turning into a nightmare when they meet up with this mysterious jungle predator that has no fear of man. Sounds good doesn’t it, well hold on a minute.

Okay, we get so many found-footage movies nowadays that the genre has really become saturated, and I mean it is way over saturated. I can say one thing about the movie, the camera work and found-footage aspect  were done great. Traucki knows how to tell a story and he’s good at building suspense but this movie fails simply because there’s no payoff. We see small hints of this creature that hides itself really well in the shadows. There’s claw-like fingers wrapped around a tree in one scene but you better be paying attention or you’ll miss it and then there’s the glowing eyes which was a good trick and a few bloody trails but besides that, there’s nothing. While the movie did keep my attention all the way through, it was for the simple fact that I thought there was going to be some kind of big reveal at the end but all I got was the victims running scared, enough shaky camera work to make you dizzy and then a split second of something coming at the camera – fade to black. Yep, that’s all.

For The Jungle to be the last entry in Traucki’s “trilogy of terror”, I have to say the finale of this trilogy pretty much flatlined. His other two entries were The Reef and Black Water and I really enjoyed both of them. Don’t get me wrong, The Jungle was filmed extremely well, the acting was great and the location helped but if you don’t have some kind of payoff, you’ve wasted people’s time. We could have gotten a little more of this creature, even if there were budget restraints, there’s tricks around that. Hey, throw a guy in a monkey suit, put horns on his head and dim the lights!

Bottom line is, The Jungle is one of those movies that is full of suspense and chills but absolutely has no payoff, just like The Blair Witch Project which this movie has already been compared to. The artwork on the back of the DVD box is kind of misleading too because we don’t see this creature that is pictured and that was so disappointing and a little aggravating because it looks menacing. This DVD releases on June 24th and comes with a warning, I didn’t care for it too much but I’m sure there’s an audience out there for it.

Distributor: Entertainment One

Run Time: 84 Minutes

Rated: R

Special Features: None

 

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