Director | Eli Roth
Producers | Eli Roth, Miguel Asensio, Nicolas Lopez, Christopher Woodrow, Molly Conners, Jason Blum
Writers | Eli Roth, Guillermo Amoedo
Cast | Lorena Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira, Magda Apanowicz, Nicolas Martinez, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Ramon Llao, Richard Burgi
Run Time | 100 mins
Certificate | 18
Plot | A group of students from New York University travel to Peru to protest illegal deforestation. While there, things take a turn for the worse, and the group finds itself in the clutches of a cannibalistic tribe.
Review | Last year I reviewed Knock, Knock, a surprisingly good release from Eli Roth. It generated praise for a sublimely built first half, where the audience was teased nearly beyond breaking point, though let down by a run-of-the-mill back end. The script was solid, with a few moments of true wit. Unfortunately, there is very little similarity with Green Inferno.
As the funny world of film releases work, The Green Inferno was actually made prior to Knock, Knock though didn’t get released here until a year later. So, while there is some argument to be made that Roth has actually improved in the two year gap between making them, it gives the slightly unfair illusion of a step back.
The film itself is no more than okay. The typical gore you would expect from Roth is here, though probably not in the outright volume you’d expect had you come to this after watching Hostel. Still, the squeamish will certainly squirm at any early meal preparation – if you have a thing about eyeballs, you may need to look away.
Gore aside, there’s little to concern the casual horror buff here. Lorenza Izzo is the only notable performer as the lead, Justine, and there some okay turns from Ariel Levy and Nicolas Martinez. However, the rest of the cast are pretty forgettable.
There is also a problem with tone. Being an homage to Cannibal Holocaust, you might have expected a brutal, unforgiving horror. For the odd moment, this is maybe true. However, there are too many moments that fall squarely into satire, and even bordering on spoof, to take any of it seriously (if you could at all). There’s one particular scene where one of the captives has a stomach upset and, noticeably embarrassed, has to dash to the edge of the cage to relieve themselves. This could have been played for a super grim moment that shows the students have hit absolute rock bottom, however we instead get ‘comical’ sound effects and children of the tribe pointing and laughing.
There was potential here for a half decent high energy thriller-horror, or maybe an entertaining satire on 70s and 80s X-rated cannibal movies. Unfortunately, The Green Inferno managed to be neither.
The Verdict | The Green Inferno can’t decide whether it is meant to be a horror, a satire or something in between, and this is to its detriment. Hopefully Mr. Roth will make more films like Knock, Knock and less like this sub-standard effort.