Saturday, May 18, 2013

In short: Welcome to the Jungle (2007)

Four horror movie meat idiots (as played by Sandy Gardiner, Veronica Sywak, Callard Harris and Nick Richey) decide to wander into the jungles of Papua New Guinea to find a decades lost millionaire's son on account of some vague rumours and dubious information. After forty-five painful minutes spent in their company, the local population of gene-pool cleansing natives take pity on the audience and kill them off. Hooray, the end.

To begin with the positive, unlike all other cannibal movies, Jonathan Hensleigh's POV horror variation on the theme does not include real (or simulated, for that matter) violence against animals, so kudos for that. Alas, that's all positive aspects of the movie right there. The rest is annoying and idiotic characters - two of them with the superpower to carry enough alcohol for weeks in their backpacks - bitching, bickering and shoving each other, doing things too stupid even for people under stress, and finally, finally, dying in ways that could be shocking if I'd give a crap about any of these twats. Of course, to achieve that sort of connection to the characters, the film shouldn't have gone out of its way to make them at best annoying, but mostly vile and too dumb to believe in them as human beings.

To make matters worse, the film takes way too much time coming to the interesting parts, and once it reached them, I couldn't help but see the film as some sort of lite version of Cannibal Holocaust that not only excises the really morally repugnant parts (like the animal violence) of that movie, but also leaves behind the original's ambiguity when it comes to the treatment of race (in Welcome, all brown people are bad, all white people too stupid to live), the rather complex meditations about the nature of civilization and barbarism (Welcome is a film proudly not containing a single thought), and the still shocking nature of the violence (Welcome just has a bit of gore). This leaves Welcome to the Jungle as the most curious of rip-offs - one that ignores all the good parts of what it is ripping off.

No comments: