February 4, 2022
3 / 5
4 / 5
Jumanji: A World of Psychological Horrors
Chris Van Allsburg wrote a picture book called Jumanji in 1982 portraying the fantasies of animals emerging into reality. The word "Jumanji" is an African word in Zulu and translates to "many effects." The 1995 film adaptation depicts a light horror of a children’s fantasy jungle coming to life. The cursed game reaches out to children through the knocking of African drums, echoing like music from a scary movie. The sounds cause nervousness to immediately take over the children. The title “Jumanji" scatters like particles and comes back together, symbolizing that no prize can be won. To win is not to play the game.
The film reveals it is not all fun and games since these creatures come to life and the player can get sucked into the game for 26 years. Alan Parrish (Adam Hann-Byrd), a son of the wealthy CEO of Parrish Shoes, appears in the first scene of the film. Alan rides his bike and greets everyone when a group of neighborhood boys chase him to his father’s factory. It's clear he had been bullied incessantly. He begs his father to bring him home. However, his father tells him: "If you are afraid of anything, you should stand and face it." Later, it's discovered that Alan is friends with one of the bully’s girlfriend, which results in them cruelly attacking him. The film does an excellent job setting the foundation of an important lesson: standing up for oneself leads to survival, as Alan is able to persevere in the jungle for 26 years.
The young characters fall victim because Alan wants to leave his home to escape bullying he's facing. The game thinks Sarah Wettle (Laura Bundy) and Alan are both enrolled into its world. Once they play, Alan is trapped into the game, doomed to remain in the jungle until Peter rolls a pair of dice and lands on the numbers "5" and "8."
Children are naturally curious and sounds alert them to investigate what they don’t understand. The drumming from the game is what alerted the children to search and find the game. The show points out that the minute they start to play, they are imprisoned. A strong example of this is occurs when the tokens are locked in place on the board and the children can't move them.
Jumanji portrays the sadness of losing a parent after an argument. After Alan (Robin Williams) runs to find his parents, he learns they did everything they could to find him. Then, they lost everything and died, never able to find him. Sam Parrish loved his son: losing a child is a pain nobody cannot explain. The layout of this scene and seeing the stampede of animals convinced Alan to finish the game and get his life back.
One thing [read more]