The Green Inferno is Eli Roth’s return to the director’s chair after Hostel: Part Two (2007). Before its screening in the AFI Film Festival of Los Angeles, Roth requested something of the crowd. He asked the audience to keep an open mind and dispel any preconceived notions or expectations of the film. I felt obliged to set aside my expectations of the movie. This review is the fruit of my observations as I tried my best to set aside any biased opinions.
The movie follows a group of teenagers who want to stop a rainforest from being cut down. They fly over to Peru in order to chain themselves to trees and stop the crew from continuing to destroy the forest. The plan succeeds despite a small situation that develops. On their flight back to civilization, their plane crashes in the middle of the forest. There, half of the teenagers die while the rest are captured by a group of cannibals.
To start off, I will say that there were some well crafted scenes in the movie and one major villain of the film is extremely well written. There was also one scene where the dialogue seemed to go deeper than just your average horror film. Despite this, most of the movie seems to fall flat. Characters are very bland for the most part, you have a stoner, a chubby guy, jock, and the innocent girl among others. This description alone seems to be sufficient grounds in which to describe most of the characters. Right from the start, the dialogue seemed clunky and the actors seemed robotic. Thankfully, this seemed to disappear only to be replaced by insane amounts of blood and gore.
It’s very clear that this movie is a tribute to all the cannibal films before it but it just seemed unnecessary. Eli Roth once again plays into his trademark use of carnage to make the audience feel queasy. I found myself laughing more often than feeling horrified at the actions on screen and this speaks to the root of the problem I have with this movie. This flick wasn’t funny in a clever way but in more of a this-is-incredibly-unbelievable type of way.
It’s always tough to write about a horror movie because everyone has a different sense of what scary is or what is essential to horror. Overall I thought that the movie was dying to make a political statement that never came. The characters felt tough to sympathize with and the “horror” seemed more laughable than scary (which I recognize is a trend with most horror flicks). To add insult to injury, the one time the audience is meant to feel pity for the native cannibals falls flat. Instead of feeling sorry for them, I questioned why anyone would try to save them. Roth seemed to be trying to push the standard of a cannibal film which is not bad, it just simply didn’t seem to work this time around.
TL;DR: Typical Eli Roth movie. Other than being a tribute to cannibal films, a very generic B-movie.
Rockit Raccoon Rating: 5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 70% (as of Nov. 10, 2013)