Film is the retelling of real incidents when in 1981 Israeli adventure Yossi Ghinsberg entered deep into the Amazon Rainforest and found hell waiting for him.
People keep doing it, these adventure types going into treacherous Mother Nature territory to explore and discover the untapped world - only to find misery, while some are never seen again. Greg McLean mixes adventure and horror perfectly, which when coming from the director of Wolf Creek and Rogue comes as no surprise. It's standard formula in narrative drive, man meets new friends in beautiful surrounds, it's all very jolly and daring, and off they go in search of wonderment.
Of course, as is often the case, these stories can sometimes end in utter distress, Ghinsberg was a very lucky fellow to come out alive and tell his amazing story, which is in turn compelling and excellently performed by the cast. As problems begin to surface, the group dynamic begins to facture, with one particular character highly dubious in motives intent. The terrain gets steadily worse, then they got to eat of course, and as bodies begin to wane, decisions on a survival course of action take precedence. Then it's over to high peril for Ghinsberg who has to try and salvage body and mind in the hope that he might somehow escape his jungle nightmare.
Once the pic turns its entire focus on Ghinsberg's solitude, things become a little repetitive and much of the chilling danger begins to ebb away. Yet we are willing him to survive, to stay hooked in as we grasp for a semblance of good news to come out of an otherwise dark tale. Clearly from Ghinsberg's perspective, the real man himself, there was a yearning to be a better man, for better or worse, but the film is a little out of focus for an in depth portrayal of Yossi, with this blend of survival horror and characterisation not quite working. That said though, this still comes as highly recommended viewing, as does further reading on the incidents featured here. For come the closing credits, as real people are shown in photos, and their actual fates written in type, you know there has been no titillation here. 7.5/10