Movie Review: Jungle


Written by Justin Monjo, directed by Greg McLean

1 hr 55 mins of pure adrenaline

Rating: 4.5/5 leafs

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Synopsis from IMDb

A group of friends join a guide for a trek into the Bolivian jungle, searching for an Indian village. The men soon realize that the jungle is a difficult place to be.


This movie was a complete rush of anxiety. It was terrifying! It is the story of four adventurous friends who want to take their travels to the most extreme level yet in a search to find an unknown Indian village. As you can imagine, it doesn’t go the way they planned. I hear a lot of people say that they prefer more realistic horror movies that they can see happening to them rather than something paranormal. However, no one really sees themselves getting hunted by a serial killer or something similarly horrendous. I think everyone can relate to wanting to throw caution to the wind, travel and live where they land. What makes Jungle so terrifying is that it turns this romantic ideal of travel on it’s head. The characters get in a terrible situation because of their desire to have the greatest glory in National Geographic.

What To Expect

leaf iconThe Cast

I found it very interesting that the main cast was all male. It made the building tension of the characters completely believable. The main objective of this group is to gain honor in going deeper in the jungle than most people have gone before. They want to feed their pride and ego–it is how some reluctant members of the group are convinced to go, the promise of glory. When one member of the group gets injured, rather than being sympathetic, they get angry at him and show contempt because he is the weakest link.

leaf iconThe Jungle

As much as the character’s tension with each other leads to building anxiety, the fight with for survival in the jungle is even more scary. There’s not just the bigger fears of starvation or wild animals, this movie makes clear how many dangers there are in this isolated setting, how many ways there were to die. There’s injury, sickness, and the disgusting things that must be done for survival.

leaf iconTrue Story

I did not know this was a true story until the end but it completely blew my mind when the end credits played along with the “what happened next” pictures. It deepened the experience as it does with most real-life survival stories.

leaf iconRelationships

Knowing that the relationships were real was just as powerful as knowing the struggle for survival was true. Alex Russel as Kevin and Joel Jackson as Marcus are where most of the tension takes place when Karl, played by Thomas Kretshmann, offers to lead them inexplicably to a city they’ve never heard of. Yet the hostility at the beginning of the story is redeemed when each character becomes his base self and their true vulnerabilities are heartbreakingly revealed.  

What I Didn’t Like

Highlight to see the negative. No spoiler.

leaf iconDaniel Radcliff’s Acting

Looking back, I feel that there could have been no way Daniel couldn’t have given an amazing performance. His full-body transformation into a completely emancipated man was incredible. However, I know that while watching, it was clear that Radcliff himself was right under the surface of his portrayal of Yossi Ghinsberg. At the beginning of the movie, he did seem completely transformed into the Israeli man, but as he was forced to uncover more breadth of emotion, the character cracked. 

Let’s chat! Have you seen this movie? What do you think about Daniel Radcliffe’s acting? Does it affect you that he was known for such a big part (Harry Potter) for so long?

Thanks for reading!


About Leah

Hi! I'm Leah. I like books, TV, and plants. I love writing about it all. Earnest Hemmingway said "Write hard and clear about what hurts," and I aspire to do just that. Thanks for reading!

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