Movie Monday: Jumanji

Picture this: you’re sorting out in your attic when you stumble across a mysterious board game. It’s in a carved wooden box and covered in dust, so it must be old. No one in your house has seen the game before, and no one knows how it got there. Do you play it?

If movies have taught us anything, not only do you not play it, you should quickly sell your house and move far, far away.

Jumanji the movie came out the year after I was born, and all I remembered from watching it as a kid was that it was TERRIFYING and there was a rhino. Not much to go on, but enough to make me avoid it for years, until now…

With a good friend by my side for protection, I sat down to face my fear of the film and, this time around, I actually rather enjoyed it. It opens in 1969 New Hampshire, with 12 year old Alan Parrish finding a mysterious game and things getting a little weird when he starts to play it; the game comes to life and sucks him in!

Trapped for decades, he’s finally set free when two more children roll the dice, but what happens when the only way to stop the game from ruining everyone lives, is to finish what you started?

The older Alan is played by the incredible Robin Williams, and as with so many of his characters/movies, there’s tons of comedy but there’s also some heart to it. While there were definitely moments where I was laughing out loud, there were also a few scenes where I had a small lump in my throat including the end (but no spoilers!). Although he’s not around to make any more movies, he’ll live on through the characters he brought to life, and I’m so glad that there’s films I have the pleasure of rediscovering.

As for Jumanji, some of the CGI animals are still scary but it shows just how far technology has come in my life time as if it were to be made now, those naughty monkeys that gave me nightmares would be so realistic. Its a great film, although I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone under 7 in case like me, they’re haunted for life (well a good chunk of it, anyway).

3/5

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