Eli Roth knows how to satisfy his torture-porn audience. He’s good at that. I don’t rate it as a genre or as a credible type of film-making but nevertheless he is good at giving audiences ridiculous amounts of gore and filth. The first thing to say about Roth’s The Green Inferno is that this is not a horror movie. Just like Hostel and its sequel, The Green Inferno fails to convince me that it is a scary movie. I like my horror old-school. For me, even Cannibal Holocaust doesn’t rate well as a movie, as ambitious as it was at the time. The Green Inferno, heavily inspired by the Italian cinematic ground breaker, is more or less exactly what I expected it to be; two hours of irritating hipsters having their bodies mutilated and eaten in the most hideous ways imaginable. It made me feel nauseous and uncomfortable whilst also making my eyes role with a plot that’s about 20% story and 80% nonsense. Still, I have a feeling that’s what The Green Inferno was trying to accomplish and, if that’s the case, then it certainly succeeded. I thought The Green Inferno was pretty rubbish but I didn’t dislike it as drastically as Hostel. As a film fan, it is hard to take any cinematic offence at a film like this that really isn’t taking itself all that seriously. Hostel felt like a serious project, making it all the more insulting, but The Green Inferno knows how stupid it is. When you make a film that involves one female character announcing, in its opening minutes, that “all girls secretly want to starve themselves” you must know how stupid and irritating your characters and script are/is. There is still a lot to be offended by here, least of all the hideous female representations, but as far as a mindless gore-fest goes, The Green Inferno is quite a lot of fun.
When a group of student activists head into the Peruvian jungle to protect a threatened tribe from industrial excavation, it’s only a matter of time until they fall victim to those they wanted to save. Eli Roth doesn’t seem to like his characters any more than we do and he takes great delight in wiping them out one by one. All the characters we’ve grown to expect, are present. You’ve got your typical stoner, there for limp comic relief and a particularly gruesome end (I’d apologise for the spoiler but, come on…), bitchy girls, the stupid overweight fool, the good looking, but sinister, ringleader and our lead “hottie” who has no visible personality or admirable traits but whom we are manipulated into rooting for anyway. The Green Inferno is particularly vibrant which makes a pleasant change from the grey and gloomy tones of Hostel and other torture-porn favourites. The Peruvian jungle is well incorporated and the film benefits from the organic setting. You could argue that Werner Herzog, if he was to lose half of his brain cells, could easily make a film like The Green Inferno. If you want to view the Amazon rainforest in all of its glory, whilst having a bit of a laugh and simultaneously wanting to vomit, then The Green Inferno comes highly recommended. I can’t recommend it as a horror film, or even as a half decent film, but it will certainly satisfy its demographic. Oh, and another spoiler, the boy from Spy Kids is certainly all grown up.
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