Call it “Jaws of the Jungle” if you like—the comparison is apt. Both Spielberg’s O.G. summer blockbuster and Stephen Hopkins’ unjustly obscure, Africa-set adventure deal with a small group of men trying to deal with a ferocious animal threat while also managing the mercenary greed of their superiors.
Hopkins even takes inspiration from Spielberg when first depicting his critters, two ferocious man-eating lions, as barely-glimpsed monsters prowling the tall grass of the African savannah: the occasional flash of tawny hide or twitching tail recalling a sinister fin slicing through the waters off Amity.
But while Jaws is based on Peter Benchley’s trashy airport novel of the same name, The Ghost and The Darkness is taken from a true story. Our narrator, Samuel (the great John Kani, recently seen as T’Chaka in the MCU) even tells us early on that “even the most impossible parts of this story really happened”.