Jumanji

jumanji_posterYear: 1995

Synopsis: A young Alan Parrish finds a mysterious board game that wants to be played, and is soon literally sucked into it, only to later find himself in a future with more players.

Pros:
Robin Williams’ performance as adult Alan drives the film. Visually inventive and fun to watch. The time-bending elements are genuinely interesting, as well as the mysterious game itself. A plot surrounding a darkly fantastical board game is unique. The special effects hold up fairly well, if only because of the supernatural nature of the film.

Cons:
The film might not be so memorable without Williams. Many elements of the film are quite dark, putting it at odds with its otherwise family film structure.

Discussion:
The film is overall quite fun and memorable, particularly thanks to the childlike humor and horror of Robin Williams. What is interesting is how the board game has more in common with the Puzzle Box of Hellraiser (1987) than anything in the family films it emulates. The game wants to be played, and every roll of the dice brings unspeakable horrors upon the players and those around them. People even find themselves sucked into the game’s torturous jungle realm. It is genuinely interesting to see such dark elements in what was advertised and built as a family film. This film is ultimately a very unique main stream fantasy film that became a cult classic.

Related:
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle


Official Website

Rotten Tomatoes — 53%

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