Alan Richards and his wife are back in New York after living in Africa where he was in charge of a major construction project. His wife was deeply affected after a local witch doctor placed a curse on them and has taken to keeping charms to ward off evil spirits. While Richards doesn't discount the power of the witch doctor entirely, he dismisses her fears as unfounded. Having a drink in a bar one evening he finds that his wife left a protective amulet in his coat pocket. He leaves it on the bar when he leaves - and as a result has a dangerous and frightening walk home, only to find something there waiting for him.Written by
Uchawi is Swahili for witchcraft or sorcery. See more »
When Alan enters his car the driver's widow is up but a moment later is down. See more »
Some superstitions, kept alive by the long night of ignorance, have their own special power. You'll hear of it through a jungle grapevine in a remote corner of the Twilight Zone.
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Atmospheric Horror in the City Streets of the Twilight Zone
Based upon the other reviews I have read here, "The Jungle" is either one of the best or one of the worst entries in the series. I count myself among those who favor it. True, the story is predictable. The characters are archetypal. The message is one with which we are very familiar in the more environmentally and culturally conscious twenty-first century. Nevertheless, this episode is a master example of atmosphere and pacing. The essence of horror is primal and irrational. It is the fear that our own rational and civilized lives may not keep the monsters at bay. Given Rod Serling's rational humanism, I find it most interesting that he chose this story, since the story is fundamentally a refutation of the twentieth century conceit that progress can and should stamp out the primal nature of man. The clear connotation is that there is something intrinsically good about the untamed wild. It can and will protect itself from our own hubris, and we civilized men therefore are best advise to go only so far in trying to subdue it. In terms of the atmosphere, the most unsettling shots are the subtler ones - the cold breeze rustling the moonlit trees, the beasts chirping or growling in the distance, etc. What happens to the cab driver seems arbitrary at first, but then makes sense in retrospect. "The Jungle" has taken over, and there will be no easy escape for our protagonist. Without giving away the ending, I shall say that it is especially remarkable given the times. Though offscreen, it is raw and unforgiving, which is as it should be given what has transpired up to this point.
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