The found footage genre is clearly not going away anytime soon as many had thought so now it is about can filmmakers make it work. The one genre that seems to use it more than any is that of horror with a seemingly new one coming out all the time. The latest, The Jungle looks to slap its own mark on the genre but does it offer up anything new to stand out or will it get lost in the Indonesian rainforest that it takes place in?
The Jungle follows a big cat conservationist and his filmmaker brother who travel into the Indonesian jungle to find and document the rare and endangered Javan Leopard. As they travel deeper and deeper into the jungle they realize they are being stalked by a deadly predator. These films are a dime a dozen these days, but this idea while nothing all that original has the potential to deliver some great monster action. Here they use the ‘Blair Witch’ approach with the slow build and using a story that makes sense to why they have the cameras there in the first place. The story is simple and with a short run time moves along pretty quickly with little wasted time. They let the tension build with not only the mystery of what’s out there in the jungle, but also between the characters making for a decent overall film. They use the usual quick cut visuals to never fully reveal what they are actually up against until the very end of the movie which is where they real payoff should have been. Here it works fine with what the story builds too, but really only disappoints due to the misleading cover art on the DVD. This look leads you to expect one thing, but the film delivers something else. Again it worked fine for what they were going for so ignore the box and just let it unfold on the screen.
While this film isn’t bringing anything all that new to the genre it does make for an entertaining addition into the genre. This is one of those that keeps it simple and the run time short so not to over stay its welcome and fans of the genre are sure to enjoy it, but heed the warning regarding expectations of the creature or you may be disappointed.