The Green Inferno
Directed by Eli Roth
A group of student activists travel from New York City to the Amazon to save the rainforest. However, once they arrive in this vast green landscape, they soon discover that they are not alone… and that no good deed goes unpunished.
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★★★★ review by Wesley R. Ball on Letterboxd
I was supposed to see Eli Roth's The Green Inferno last year with my cousin on my birthday, and we were both disappointed to hear of its temporary shelving due to the downfall of the original release studio. I had really been hoping for an all-out gorefest that would shock me to the core for an intro into my third decade of life, but we had to opt for the inferior Boyhood instead (oh, the unimaginable horror). Now, finally, Blumhouse has graciously supported the release of this brilliant horror homage, and I can definitely say that my three year wait was completely worth it.
The thing about The Green Inferno is that it's a brilliant homage to grindhouse horror films, a genre that I have a guilty pleasure towards. The reason so many people may be expressing a great distaste for this film is that either they hate the grindhouse genre, or simply did not see the relations between the two. The latter is understandable to me. The homages were subtle as ever, although it didn't take me long to decode what Roth was doing exactly. So trust me when I say that everything that happens is for a reason.
If the story seemed outlandish or preposterous, that is because it's supposed to be.
If the acting seemed cheesy, that is because it's supposed to be.
If the gore seemed overdone or underdone, or even unrealistic, that is because it's supposed to be.
The point of a grindhouse or an exploitation film isn't to present a thought-provoking message or give the audience a rousing story that makes sense. The only thing that these films want to do is shock the audience with either unrelenting amounts of copious nudity, or more gore than could possibly be held in Jason Voorhees' wet dreams. Roth specifically chose to create an homage to the unflinching gore, and if you felt that there wasn't quite enough in this film like you were expecting, well... that was kind of the point.
You see, not all exploitation or grindhouse films are all about nonstop gore and blood explosions. Some films only use this tactic sparingly, choosing to play out their sometimes dull and ultimately unfulfilling stories and keep their most shocking parts reserved for very specific portions of the film. That's exactly what Roth did here, to some extent. His use of suspense and terror in place of copious amounts of blood and gore actually worked to my own advantage, and by the time the gorier scenes played out, I didn't turn out disappointed, but rather pleased that my expectations would finally come to fruition. This plot tactic is a common driving point in some (although very few) grindhouse films that make their more shocking moments much more satisfying to the audience, like a reward for sitting through the prelude and dull story. Think of it as literal torture porn, in the sense that there is a longer buildup to the ultimate scenes than in most other horror films.
Maybe I just loved this film because I have a native love for the grindhouse genre. Maybe I'm in way over my head and will absolutely hate this on a rewatch. Maybe the three year wait got to me. Whatever it was, today this was definitely worth a 40 minute drive to see. Eli Roth's The Green Inferno is pure, raw, and unhinged Grindhouse horror. A brilliant horror tribute that has no business being good. Many people will vehemently dislike this film, and I understand their frustrations. But for me, it was such great fun, and it just may turn out to be my new follow-up to a viewing of Tarantino/Rodriguez's Grindhouse (2007).
★★★½ review by Katie on Letterboxd
is eli roth a good director? no. would i die for him and all of his films? absolutely.
★★★½ review by Kiko Vega on Letterboxd
¿Es Eli Roth un genio o un idiota con suerte? Su primera película desde Hostel 2 no disipa las dudas.
Después de dos cintas cojonudas apadrinadas por Tarantino, el dire de Cabin Fever hizo nuevos amigos en Chile. Lamentablemente, sus amigos no valen una mierda y eso se nota aquí, aunque mucho menos que en la horripilante Aftershock.
Divertida y (quiero creer) voluntariamente subnormal, con actores más bien mediocres y muuuuuuucho menos burrismo del esperado y deseado, The Green Inferno es una peli necesaria que deberiar haber salido mejor.
Es mala pero te ríes. Solo espero que a Roth no se le haya pasado el arroth.
★★★★ review by Heather Alvarado on Letterboxd
I LOVE ELI ROTH AND I LOVE THE GREEN INFERNO.
I don't get it. I do not get it. What am I'm missing here? This is straight up Eli Roth horror. All the complaints I'm hearing are things that are intentional or present in every Roth film ever. Bad acting, douchey characters having bad things happen to them, graphic violence that's about as extreme as mainstream films will allow, random wtf moments, all while having subtext that reflects whatever current trend America is stuck in now. What really did you except?
But before I talk about the film I want to take the time to acknowledge that this film (much like the case with IT FOLLOWS) is very important in what needs to happen to horror. The fact that this movie, after a year long delay that was beginning to look as if it was never going to see the light of day, has managed to make its way to a wide release is crazy. Yeah most people hate it, but that will never matter. Studios taking chances on bizarre films will always be a success no matter what. Personal driven films are whats lacking from horror now a days, but you can always smell an Eli Roth film from a mile away. And maybe they don't connect with you, but movies shouldn't connect with everyone. Roth will never cater to you, or you, or even YOU. You can't please everyone, so you're better off making whatever the hell you want and that's what Roth has been doing since the beginning.
So THE GREEN INFERNO was pretty awesome. This is a gruesomely funny look at the people who are obsessed with being in on the biggest trend without knowing anything about it, and end up getting way in over their heads. I'm going to go out on a limb (pun intended) and say most people have read/seen Roth discuss he views this as a satirical look on SJW or as he likes to call it, "slacktivism". For further clarification, there are horrible things going on all over the world and apparently if you aren't doing anything about it, than you are a terrible person. It's this mentality that, if this person is for/against this and so is that person, I don't want to look like I'm against them so I better say I'm for it too, even though I might not know anything about what I'm rooting for. There are tons of people around the world that care about these things, but just because they aren't tying themselves to trees doesn't mean they don't care. The fear that if you don't speak your mind, than you're automatically pinned as the enemy is what's the problem. And even then, who said people aren't allowed to have different opinions than you? And in the end it's really these character's naiveness that's gets them into trouble and eventually killed. Everyone wants to make a difference, but knowledge and common sense are more powerful than any protest will ever be.
As for the rest of the film, perfect. As a Roth enthusiast all my expectations were totally met. It's funny seeing Roth go full homage, considering he does it in all of his films, but here it's much more visible, which is why I think a lot of people have a problem with this film. Yes the first half of the film has laughably bad dialogue, which is made worse by awfully bad acting. But if you're homaging those films, shouldn't that be the case. And you might think, "Ok, so if he's homaging those films, he just has an excuse to make a shitty film on purpose". Not exactly, the bad everything about those films are all part of the charm. There's no tonal problems with this film, chances are you don't get or like Roth's sense of humor.
Bottom line, I freakin loved this film. It's not too gruesome to be completely off putting or violent just to be violent. It's balances humor and gore to just the right amount which makes you squirm one moment the laugh the next and it's also great just to see new cannibal film in theaters again. Don't be like the characters in this film and live your life following trends, just let all the bad word of mouth for this film go over your head and go and see THE GREEN INFERNO.
★★★★ review by Tim on Letterboxd
I just saw this at TIFF's Midnight Madness, and wow, it was pretty good. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of Roth's films, but this one hit mostly good notes. The acting, early on, was pretty eye-rolling, and as with most Roth flicks it takes awhile to really get going. Once it does, though, the ride is intense and not for the weak of heart. The effects are top-notch, the progression of events is fierce and nerve-racking, and the climax is satisfying.
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