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DFI Cinema

Joe Johnston / Feature Narrative / United States of America / 1995 / 104 min / Colour / DCP
In English / Arabic subtitles
Interests: Action, Fantasy, Adventure, Family
Rated: Parental guidance is advised. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.

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In 1969, young Alan Parrish is a rich kid having a tough time. He’s a great target for the town bully, who warns him to keep away from his girlfriend Sarah after he steals Alan’s bike. Dad Parrish, whose wealth comes from a footwear factory, isn’t exactly making Alan’s day either, what with telling him he needs to learn to stick up for himself and announcing plans to send Alan to a stuffy boarding school, where he will follow in his ancestors’ footsteps and become ‘a real Parrish’.

When Alan comes across an old board game called Jumanji buried in a construction site, he is intrigued – the game’s pieces move by themselves after each roll of the dice, and it delivers cryptic, vaguely threatening messages. Twenty-six years later, orphans Judy and Peter come across the Jumanji board, and a mystery that has lasted for a quarter of a century begins to unravel.

Malicious spirits that inhabit “talking boards” – the most common contemporary version being the Ouija (and indeed there are at least four films named for the game) – and that emerge to take control of their users is a recurring theme in horror (films like ‘The Ring’, in which demons access victims via videotape is just one possible extension); in ‘Jumanji’, excellent performances make for an engaging supernatural adventure.

About the Director

Joe Johnston is an American filmmaker. Born in 1950, his early career in film was spent working in design and special effects; he worked as a technician on ‘Star Wars’ (1977) and shared the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Steven Spielberg’s ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. As a director, his notable films include ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ (1989), ‘October Sky’ (1999), ‘Jurassic Park III’ (2001), ‘The Wolfman’ (2010) and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011).


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