Hot Take: If you were waiting for someone to pay homage to the Italian cannibal films of the ’70s and ’80s, The Green Inferno is here. If you like your horror with all the shock and gore without much actual fear, The Green Inferno will work for you, too. Otherwise, Eli Roth’s latest will likely disappoint.
It’s hard to knock Eli Roth for what he tries to accomplish with The Green Inferno. The mistake will be on the audience member who asks more of the film than it wants to give. While this movie is a horror film, it’s of the shock and gore variety without a lot of fright or fear.
The Green Inferno has a fairly lengthy set-up which provides some shallow social commentary before the story (and the main characters) land in the jungles of South America. Once there, the cannibalistic antiheroes (it’s clear Roth’s Inferno is neutral on the indigenous Peruvian tribe) and their gore-tastic actions take center stage.
There’s plenty of blood, gore and “what the hell?” scenes the rest of the way. This is a splatter film made for fans of the splatter subgenre of horror films. The homage to cannibal films is reverent for the small subset of aficionados who might get it. That’s really about it, though. And for a film that has the pretense to be something a little bit more, it’s kind of insulting to the non-splatter fans who find themselves in the audience.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- It’s Gatorade for the Blood Thirsty
Splatter fans are likely to get a kick out of the gratuitous gore. The Green Inferno firmly establishes the NC-17 rating was created for sex only.
- The Sound & Cinematography Fit the Tone
Visually, the film has a gritty look but also captures the beauty and mystique of the Amazon. The painted tribe sets the freaky, disturbing mood and the sounds keep the audience from escaping the grotesque occurrences by closing your eyes.
- Lorenza Izzo
For some reason, I found Izzo’s performance as Justine convincing. One more reason to look forward to Roth’s next film Knock Knock.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- The Social Commentary on the Evils of “Social Justice Warriors” Misses
Often, horror movies spend some time insuring the audience feels like the victims deserve what they get on some level. For the most part, Roth makes SJWs the target of his ill will. But most of the SJWs in this group are just misguided.
- Some Sophomoric Attempts at Adding Humor Are Poorly Placed
There’s some American Pie-ish bathroom humor. It’s more eye rolling than gut busting.
- It’s Not Scary… At All
It doesn’t take much to scare me. The Green Inferno never did. Not once. It made it a little tough to devour my chicken salad sandwich afterward… but I wasn’t looking over my shoulder the entire time I chowed down.