Survival Film 'Jungle' Will Be a Hit with Your Indie Teen

Daniel Radcliffe has done just about everything to leave Harry Potter behind – from appearing nude on Broadway in Equus to playing a flatulent dead guy in last year’s surprise indie hit, Swiss Army Man – but that doesn’t mean he’s lost any of that magical fanbase. In fact, your kids might want to see Jungle just because of Radcliffe... and they’ll stay for the harrowing true account of survival against all odds.

Based on the bestselling memoir of Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, Jungle lays out the story of four travelers who set off into the heart of the rain forest in 1982. Those were the dark days before cell phones and GPS devices. As you might guess, what begins as a dream voyage deteriorates into a living nightmare.


2017, Rated R

After a terrible accident which separates the friends, Yossi (Radcliffe) is forced to survive for weeks alone against one of the most treacherous backdrops on the planet: The Amazon Jungle. Stranded without a knife, a map, or survival training of any kind, he encounters everything from venomous snakes to vicious vermin, plus quicksand and horrifying hallucinations to boot. This guy cannot catch a break.

Directed by Greg McLean – who’s made a career of terrorized tourist tales, beginning with Wolf Creek more than a decade ago – the story unfolds in a linear fashion and builds its tension chronologically. With McLean in the director’s chair, gore would be expected – but there’s actually very little. The Bolivian landscape is exploited for all it’s worth through cameraman Stefan Duscio’s lens, showing off not only the vast, endless isolation but also the eerie minutia of formidable foes including fire-ants and parasites. But when all is said and done, it’s Radcliffe who makes you care about how it all turns out. He’s a truly fine actor.

There are a few self-discovery platitudes here and there, but the film is mostly stark and unsentimental. It is Rated R for language, and there a few scenes too-intense for little explorers, but teenagers who are interested in true tales of adventure (à la The Lost City of Z or Aguirre, the Wrath of God) are sure to enjoy Jungle.

Will your teens watch Jungle? What are some movies you’re looking forward to this year? Share with us!

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