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DFI Cinema

/ Feature Narrative / United States of America / 1995 / 104 min / Colour / DCP
In English / Arabic subtitles
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.

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