HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Green Inferno
HTS Overall Score:70
Eli Roth is a man that LOVES his gore. In fact he’s really actually known for it thanks to the “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever” movies. The man really does love horror movies though. He’s starred in (usually cameos) as well as produced a few and his direction shows an insane love for pure, unadulterated gore and destruction. With “The Green Inferno”, Roth goes back to the old trope of the 1970’s where we have the fun of cannibalistic tribesman (much like “Cannibal Holocaust” and others of the same breed), but unfortunately the film lacks some of the raw animalistic grittiness that made the gore fests of that generation stand out. The first 45 minutes of the film sets up the movie with a backstory, but gore hounds may lose patience with that portion of the story as they await the blood, guts, chomping of flesh and dismemberment that is ahead.
As I said, the first 45 minutes of the film have nothing horrific at all in it. In fact it sets up the story as college freshman, Justine (Lorenza Izzo) decides to join a political/social activist group headed by hunky upperclassman, Alejandro (Ariel Levy). Filled with unlikeable other puff piece activists, the group decides to head to Peru in order to protest and stop the decimation of the Peruvian forest by greedy capitalists. Right from the beginning Justine is put off by Alejandro’s rough demeanor, but is totally infatuated with the hunky, yet passionate leader. She starts to see things a bit differently as a botched protest reveals some darker sides to the man’s psyche. Disillusioned, with the expedition, but still returning victorious, Justine and the rest of the crew head on back to the states, only to have the plane go down in the forest.
Surviving the crash is just the start of the terror, as the surviving members of the party are immediately captured by a group of the natives (strangely the same natives that are being run out of the forest by the Peruvian companies that they came to protest). When they wake up back at the village, things go from bad to worse, to REALLY not the greatest day in the world. The village they are captured by are not JUST ticked off about their forest at risk. It seems that they are those old fashioned head hunting, cannibalistic types and decide that the group is prime ripe for dinner. One by one the group is tortured and diced apart alive, made into food for the crazed villagers and their despotic matriarch leader (who looks CREEPY as anything you’ve ever seen. Desperate to get out, the college students try plan after plan, only to fail each time and end up in the big village oven after being torn apart. Alejandro has gone from being a bit of a jerk to just plain evil, as he sabotages every plan they embark upon, being that he has a deadly secret of his own that he is holding out hope for. The closer the movie comes to ending, the less and less students are left alive, leaving Justine with the only hope the ragged survivors have left.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=62225[/img]While “The Green Inferno” has been described as an INSANELY bloody film, it really is not. Except for the opening kill, the rest of the film isn’t filled with much more gore than your average “Walking Dead” episode. That’s not to say that the movie isn’t disturbing, as it’s less about the amount of gore shown, but rather HOW it’s shown. I mean, is it disturbing to see a zombie’s brains being blown out, or one of your main characters LITERALLY being dismembered on an alter while he’s kicking and screaming? Roth goes all out here, trying to mimic the horror disgust we felt in the 70’s with those brutal and gritty cannibal films. Sadly the tension and grittiness is not up to those standards and the film feels like little more than a gore hounds happy dream of watching people get sliced and diced the whole time. The first 45 minutes feel a bit out of place, since the premise for the student’s arrival in Peru is set up rather heavily, and then abandoned within minutes of arriving as the storyline veers into the cannibal main story.
The characters are as unlikeable as you could possibly imagine, which is both a blessing and a curse for the film. It’s curse in that you’re just cheering for these wimps to die, but at the same time it’s a blessing as …well… you’re cheering for the deaths of everyone who’s about to get munched by the flesh eating tribesmen, as that’s kind of the appeal to a film like this. Alejandro is so twisted and so selfishly evil that by the end of the film you are just pleading for someone to take a bite out of him. Justine is the foil to his evil, as she is the likeable character in the movie. The one you rally behind and hope actually makes it out without being put in the soup pot. The rest of the characters are rather throwaway, and one by one they ARE thrown away, usually into the villager’s stomachs.
Rated R for aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=62233[/img]Shot 100% digitally, the film lacks one of the most critical components to a bloody horror film. The texture and grittiness that comes from the use of grainy film stock. I know I sound like an old 80’s snob, but one of the reason’s those movies had such a large appeal was due to the canvas known as film, which could create a million textures to play with and a certain feel that is illicit by the rough and gritty footage. Still, the colors are wonderfully saturated, mainly playing with strong jungle greens, bright red blood and gushing body parts as well as bright green jumpsuits and a few other primary colors privy to the jungle environment. Blacks fair pretty well, but do suffer from some crush here and there, as there is a lot of shadows in the movie. It’s a good track and one that is plenty colorful, but I did notice a strange sort of softness to a majority of the movie, despite the glossy and shiny digital footage.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=62241[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA is a strong track that does a very nice job of replicating the jungle experience the kids are thrust into. The first 45 minutes of the film are mostly dialogue, but there is some mild ambiance of the city campus to fill out the surrounds, but the real action is in the jungle as you can hear the chirp of birds along with the howling of the cannibalistic villagers in the background. There is a LOT of screaming in the film, hitting some high octaves that really make the tweeters in your speakers get a workout. LFE is tight and pounding, as the drumbeats spell the ominous doom for the college students as well as lend some help to the gunfire of the mercenaries and the roaring of the bulldozers chewing through the jungle. It’s a solid track, but one devoid of a lot of the things that make a truly immersive audio experience.
• Audio commentary track with Co-Writer/Director/Producer Eli Roth, Producer Nicolás López, and Stars Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, and Daryl Sabara
• Photo Gallery
“The Green Inferno” isn’t as good as I was hoping for, as it caters mainly to gore hounds who have an insatiable lust for blood, and little else in the way of a tangible storyline. Starting out rather slow it peaks up steam at about the 45 minute mark and then rushes on under full steam until the very end of the film (which actually leaves you scratching your head going “what???”). Devoid of a decent story, and filled with more blood and disturbing cannibal scenes than you can shake a stick at, “The Green Inferno” is a tolerable rental for those of you with strong stomachs.
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns
Directed by: Eli Roth
Written by: Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 110 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: January 5th 2016
Buy The Green Inferno On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Rental for the strong of stomach
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