THE GREEN INFERNO (2013)
Director: Eli Roth
Writers: Guillermo Amoedo, Nicolás López, Eli Roth
Stars: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara
A university girl tries to prove to an activist group that she cares about the world. Fortunately for her, they’re planning a trip to the Amazon to save a tribe from a company. Unfortunately, the tribe is a group of cannibals.
Eli Roth is a strange fellow. I liked Cabin Fever but hated Hostel and they were both his babies. He understand horror as much as he understands humour and I feel that with his past work, he’s never truly been able to properly balance the two. There’s a dark humour in him that tends to colour his scenes in a way that can best be described as quasi Raimi-esque. But a Raimi that grew up a decade later, in the saturated horror market.
In this, The Green Inferno is probably his most balanced act yet. There’s humour a-plenty in the film; the first fifteen minutes are pretty much only that and even when the violence starts and in some of the most painful scenes. Some of it is slapstick that is reminiscent of Army of Darkness. A volley of arrows and darts in uncomfortable places isn’t supposed to cause so much laughter and glee but here, it does. It’s a fine contrast with the horror part of the tale and it works well as a sort of palate cleanser. After all, this is a cannibal movie and a sort of homage to Cannibal Holocaust.
One thing I’ll add is how much I like this new way of dealing with survival horror. I say “new” only because I’ve only seen You’re Next pull it off correctly before The Green Inferno. What I am talking about is how, instead of showing you the five or six “heroes/victims” in the first five minutes, the movie will show you a dozen or more people, have you take interest in seeing their character develop and keep you guessing who the “main” characters really are. Then, when the horror starts, half or more are dispatched in a short minute, thus revealing the heroes of the film. I love this and this movie does it well.
Is it perfect? No. There are some moments that had me scratching my head. Why didn’t they lift the gate after the distraction? How can the middle-credit scene make any sense? How can one know that a satellite is pointed at you and where it’s located (so that you appear to be looking directly at it)? Why take the time and effort to film in the Amazon with real locals and then have obvious non-locals as main antagonists? That butcher was hella white. But still, it’s a fine piece and as Eli Roth said it himself, there aren’t many mainstream cannibal movies as of late. This is one of the good ones.