Saturday, January 16, 2016

Nick's Belated Review of THE GREEN INFERNO

Well, I finally did it. After months upon months (and actually years) of looking forward to Eli Roth's "The Green Inferno", I finally managed to sit down and watch the damn thing. I've seen so many cannibal movies in my life and there's been such a draught of them that I guess I was looking forward to this film just on general principle mostly. Well, here we are, and I finally watched it...

...and well...meh.

I've been saying the same thing about Eli Roth for years: he has tons of promise and always underwhelms. The best film he ever did was his debut, "Cabin Fever", and that was in fucking 2002. "The Green Inferno" is the first film he's directed since 2007's "Hostel 2", and in between those films he's had his name attached to a lot of shit that includes "The Last Exorcism" and "The Man with the Iron Fists" in varying degrees. "The Green Inferno" was supposed to be the film that really cements Roth's place on the upper levels of horror directors, and while the film doesn't necessarily fail in doing that, it doesn't really succeed either.

Now in talking about the film, this is going to be spoiler-heavy, so be warned. A bunch of college kid toolbags that think they can make a difference follow a charismatic leader named Alejandro on a crusade to the Peruvian jungle to stop the place from getting destroyed. One of the students is Justine (played by Roth's real-life wife Lorenza Izzo) whose Dad is a UN bigwig. After she learns she was only brought along because of her UN connection and Alejandro could care less of what happens to her, the plane they're on crashes and they're scooped up and devoured by a cannibal tribe.

Now all of this is well and good, and you can tell that Roth has watched "Cannibal Holocaust" and "Cannibal Ferox" like a few hundred times each, and Roth actually manages to nail most of the big notes that come with these kind of films (thankfully there's no animal deaths or genital mutilation...though we come close), and when it does, the film is actually pretty damn good and features some wonderful gore effects from industry icons Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger.

Where the film fails though are with Roth's infantile attempts at humor. There's scenes where someone can't stop farting and eventually shits themselves (seriously) and Alejandro decides to randomly start jerking off while they're all held captive...but hey, nothing turns a guy on like seeing someone get eaten alive right? While I enjoy seeing Roth satire social justice warriors, knee-jerk liberal college students, and social media itself; the film's characterizations are piss poor and we care nothing for any of fact, I was hoping Justine and everyone involved would get eaten alive in fantastic detail.

I should also mention that the film is nowhere near as gnarly as I thought it would be. Maybe I'm just desensitized to this shit by now, but it actually felt kind of underwhelming? When the gore did happen, it was great, but some of the CGI-added effects are so piss poor it's not even funny. The ant scene? Oh my fucking god, it's so fucking bad.

So yeah, "The Green Inferno" is far from a masterpiece, but I enjoyed it for what it was. There's a mid-credits scene that sets up a possible sequel, of which there was supposed to be, but those plans got put on hold in 2013 when this film was first delayed before Blumhouse and Universal rescued it from obscurity. If that sequel ever happens, I'd be okay with it...but it looks like that's a big if.

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