Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) holds a special place in my cold, crumpled HEART. Whenever I hear about a new project involving him I enthusiastically anticipate its release. When The Green Inferno was announced, however, I was hesitant. I had already seen Cannibal Holocaust and didn’t think much of that so I didn’t have any hope for a practical remake. The trailer didn’t seem to have any substance, I thought it looked like a carbon copy of its predecessor, and when it was finally released the critics were not very kind.
In The Green Inferno a group of college students embark on a mission of social activism with a trip to the Amazon rainforest to stop loggers from encroaching on territory inhabited by indigenous tribes. The logging company has employed a private militia to speed up the process, SLAUGHTERing any out-gunned native in the way. The students plan to chain themselves to bulldozers and broadcast live streams from their smart phones to the public as their only protection from the armed men. Keep in mind this premise might sound ridiculous, but this set-up is leagues above what Cannibal Holocaust had to offer. All that held that sorry excuse for entertainment together was a couple of white people going into the rainforest to torture helpless tribes and then ending up getting TORTURED themselves. Anyway, the activists are heading home after making their spectacle when their plane crashes not long after taking off. Still dressed in the disguises used to gain entry to the logging site, the tribe they set out to save mistakes them as the people invading their home and captures them.
Despite being a movie involving cannibalism, The Green Inferno fails when it comes to taking itself seriously. The gratuitous amounts of gore are welcome, the KILLs are interesting and non-linear, but a closer attention to pacing and dialogue would have served it well. Simply put, there is no sense of dread, something most look for in a horror film. To mark the lowest point of the movie would be to focus on the first scenes before they even leave for the jungle. This is where the acting is at its weakest and the characters are insufferable (especially the pointless white-haired brat!), albeit they bud into a more interesting group later on.
In conclusion, The Green Inferno serves as a comfy watch, for a time when expectations aren’t high and there is nothing more enticing available. Kind of like McDonald’s is to comfort food. The questionable acting and lackluster attempts at building anything truly shocking hold it back from turning the average film buff’s head. It’s a movie I’m glad I watched but have no desire to see again.
3 “fast food” dishes out of 5
“Did somebody say ‘McDonald’s’?”