Sunday, 18 August 2013

Welcome to the Jungle - Will's Review

The makers of The Blair Witch Project cited the original Cannibal Holocaust as a major influence - it seems strange then, that this (supposed - more on that later) Holocaust remake shares more DNA with Blair Witch than it does with its own direct ancestor.

In all fairness, it's probably more accurate to say that this movie "borrows heavily" from the original, than it is to say that it's "based on" it.

Like Blair Witch, we are introduced to a group of teens with an obsession for filming EVERYTHING (at least Blair Witch had the excuse that they had set out to make a documentary) and the entire movie is pieced together from their footage.

As with Blair Witch, we are quickly briefed on the background legend - the story here being the true one that Michael Rockefeller vanished in New Guinea "deep in cannibal country" and speculation that he may still be living in the jungle.

Everything starts off promisingly enough; we spend some time with our characters and get to know them, which is usually a plus, and everyone seems believable enough.

Unfortunately though, this move shares Blair Witch's biggest weakness; by the one hour mark, you somehow don't feel that anything has happened (impressive, when you consider that our 'heroes' have managed to be involved in roadside gunplay twice by this point), and the characters (two in particular) start to get dumber and more unlikeable.

By the time the tribes show up, there's only about 15 minutes runtime left, which is a shame because the movie really gets going around this point; it would have been nice to perhaps compress the middle of the movie (lose one of the 2 going-nowhere gun incidents, for instance) and expand the final act.

First contact with the natives is genuinely unnerving, and there are some wonderful / horrible moments as our group meet their fates.

Not a great movie by any stretch, but no worse than a dozen other found footage movies.

Speaking of which; how was the footage recovered?

A big fat "Meh!"

1 comment:

  1. Yup, very much agreed, with everything you wrote there. The finale needed to be extended and some of the other gumpf condensed.