Happy Day 17 of my #31DaysOfHorror! I hope you’re all having a spooky October, and have been enjoying these reviews so far. Please don’t hesitate to leave comments, I would love to hear from anyone who is reading these and get a sense of what you guys think! Anyways, we’re dipping our toes into Eli Roth movies again, because… that’s what’s happening. So, lets get to the much delayed The Green Inferno.
A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.
Alright, well as you probably guessed from my review of Knock, Knock, I’m not the biggest fan of Eli Roth. I find his characters unlikable, his stories weak, and the gore and torture-porn pretty gratuitous. On top of that, I wasn’t a fan of the movie that this one so clearly draws 110% of it’s inspiration from, Cannibal Holocaust. Though, I objected to that movie because of the horrendous animal cruelty and the fact that it’s hugely boring. Anyways, getting back on topic, The Green Inferno is a throw back to the hugely exploitative cannibal films from the 70s and 80s. Something that you really can’t deny it managed to pull off effectively. In this case, Roth filmed in an actual village with actual indigenous Peruvian people, who had never been filmed or seen films before (according to the trailer), which does add an interesting layer of authenticity to the film.
The movie has been slowly building hype for years, after it was delayed from being released and featured trailers and an R rating which both promised “aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use”. I don’t know if it’s a sign that the movie was overhyped or I am desensitized but, this really didn’t feel any more extreme than anything horror has produced in the last few years. There is some graphic violence, but none of it is prolonged or especially hard to watch. No one was going to think that this was some kind of secret snuff movie watching it. There is no gore what so ever until 45 minutes into the movie, and the first cannibal related death of the movie is gross, sure, but nothing we haven’t seen before. So, on that front the movie really isn’t anything special.
The initial 45 minutes of the movie will pretty much make or break your ability to get through it, I was tempted to just say “Forget it” a few times, but I stuck with it, wanting to see what all the fuss was about. The beginning of the movie is really dull, introducing us to Roth’s special brand of unlikable or nothing characters, and cramming in awkward foreshadowing about female genital mutilation (yeah). The main character is played by Lorenza Izzo (who previously proved her chops in Knock Knock), and she is pretty unremarkable throughout. Her friend, played by Sky Ferreira (Mean Girls 2), has the line “Activism is so freaking gay”, which is either a hugely unfunny joke or a clear sign that Roth is really out of touch with how people speak. Also starring in this movie is Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids) and you can prepare to see most of his dick in this movie. So there’s that.
So, in the space of an hour (after the characters have been captured), the movie manages to shove in dismemberment, cannibalism, poop jokes, fart noises, a character jerking off in a cage after one of the female characters kills herself with a bowl made of her friend’s skin, and even a 9/11 conspiracy reference. Plus, it features the three female characters being tested for ‘virginity’, because evidently Eli Roth is of the belief that women are sealed up until they have sex. Which, by the way, is not how hymens work. You could essentially have chopped off the first chunk of the movie and been left with a gross short film that has no sense of tone. It’s really hard to tell when this movie is trying to scare you or trying to be funny, as I mentioned, there is a poop joke complete with hilarious fart noises that happens within a few minutes of one of their friends being ripped apart and eaten, and it felt really weird and tone deaf.
I wish I could completely pan this movie, but there are actually a couple of things to like about it unfortunately. The scene where the characters first arrive in the cannibal village is genuinely frightening. The way the scene is shot really makes you feel claustrophobic and disoriented, and pretty effectively captures how the characters are feeling, and how you would feel in that situation. That scene is capped with the first brutal murder, and those two things together do make for a pretty effective scene. Honestly, the movie is well shot from start to finish, it has a very distinct look at I will give credit where credit is due.
It’s not great, the characters don’t add anything, and it hasn’t really lived up to its SHOCKING reputation. All in all, it feels too long and doesn’t offer up anything new or exciting. If it sounds like something you’ll enjoy, you probably will. It’s gross, is exploitative, and over all (besides looking good) it’s pretty weak.