Title: The Green Inferno
Director: Eli Roth
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
What It Is: Determined to protect the Amazon rainforest, a group of student activists fly to Peru only to crash-land deep in the jungle. Captured by a pack of bloodthirsty cannibals, the survivors suffer unspeakable acts of butchery at the hands of the very tribe they were trying to save.
What We Think: Let’s get one thing clear, this is not Cannibal Holocaust despite Roth introducing a plot twist which tries to bring it in line with that cult classic. His writing here is the equivalent of throwing poo against a wall and hoping some sticks. The dialogue was confused and was in no way coherent and overwhelmed itself suggesting trying to fit in too many things into the time permitted. It seems that Roth is friends with Quentin Tarantino based on past evidence however it seems that during that time he has taken away all the worse parts of Quarantino. The way that the latter uses dialogue to build tension Roth seems to use dialogue to try to make you care about the characters while simultaneously making you wish they were dead as they are so vacuous and irritating. In previous films at least the gore showed some form of the imagination but none of it here will really stick with me, there was no real tension or much to feel that uncomfortable about, even his prior film Knock Knock outshone it in terms of tension. Overall I think most of my frustrations come from the script as it had some really funny moments but these were clearly not done on purpose and the characters were like people I’ve never known. One example of this stupidity is when one guy when faced with inevitable death starts to masturbate claiming it releases stress, it begs the question how did he get an erection? Was it the thought of being eaten? Was it the stench of diarrhea? We’ll never know just how he managed it.
Our Grade: D-, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to take from this film. On the one hand we’re supposed to somehow side with the local militia and hope the rainforest is banned to the ground so no more of our precious American students cannot be eaten but yet in the final scene we’re supposed to somehow sympathise with them and let them carry on eating any newcomers to the village. The film was dumb, inconsistent and offensive. At one point I expected the film to be a high-minded political and environmental allegory about the abuse of nature resulting in some revenge or even perhaps a cautionary tale about over-privileged naivety. In Roth’s hands though we simply get a rancid freak show of cinematic sadism.