Welcome to the Jungle (3 stars)

Welcome to the Jungle

(18) 78min (Optimum DVD rental/retail)


A kind of cannibal version of The Blair Witch Project, this low-budget outing follows four characters into New Guinea as they pursue the trail taken many years before by Michael Rockefeller, the heir to the Rockefeller fortune. Our four unsympathetic characters (two men and two women; one couple sanctimonious, the other pair indulgent layabouts) believe that if they can find him alive they may have a scoop on their hands.

The low-budget aesthetic has advantages: the absence of music and the presence of a camera that limits perspective create a sense of menace in form as readily as content. But this also echoes back to Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, a film that does more to contextualise the horrors of cannibalism, and the complacency of Western points of view. The strengths of this film are also its weaknesses. Jonathan The Punisher Hensleigh’s film is better than many a horror film full of clichés, but not as good as the best that so intelligently transcend them. Extras include director’s commentary.

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