Monkey Puzzle (‘Enter the Wild’)

DRAMA; 1hr 30min

STARRING: Ben Guerens, Ryan Johnson, Ella Scott Lynch

Under pressure: Johnson and Lynch

Five citified friends head deep into the New South Wales Blue Mountains in search of the Wollemi Pine, an ancient, elusive tree. The Wollemi’s survival is something of a mystery. And so are human beings when as sorely tested as these five become. Dylan (Johnson) is The Messed-Up Dude. His BF Carl (Guerens) is The Low-Key Dude. Pippa (Lynch) is The Desirable Girl, Toni (Billie Rose Pritchard) is The Twitchy Girl and Zac (Socratis Otto) is The Jerk. They cruise along just fine at first. But there are seeds of tension in any group dynamic. Put the group under pressure — no food, no map and no general idea in the middle of nowhere — and the tension can turn toxic.


That, in essence, is what happens here — although slowly, slowly, like drips of water on a stone. The young ensemble chips away at first-time film-maker Mark Forstmann’s raw material with grim persistence. They command attention, if not seat-clutching suspense, for this shared journey is one taken from within.