The Green Inferno, 2013
directed by Eli Roth
starring Lorenza Izzo, Nicolas Martinez, Ramon Llao
An attempt at a throwback horror film, The Green Inferno delivers plenty of action and gore, but feels much more like a homage than a reinvention. While the cannibal genre that boomed in the 1980s wasn’t known for its originality, most titles were exploitative rehashes of each other, The Green Inferno feels like a rather average, modern horror movie with the cannibal theme applied to it. It is, however, rather well done. Many analyses of the rise and fall of cannibal horror often cite the improbability and inconceivability of remote tribes practicing cannibalism. However, The Green Inferno does a good job at creating a modern and realistic plot that doesn’t solely exist as a setup.
The first third of the film is a bit of a drag, developing mundane plot points for characters that end up either ineffective or irrelevant. Like the sick, disturbed horror aficionado I am, my attention wasn’t fully attained until the actual depravity began. At that point it absolutely has to be said that The Green Inferno moves along at a great pace, savagely with very few reservations, and features enough surprises along the way to deviate itself from stereotypes and predictability. While there is plenty of gore to behold, the film doesn’t enter any new territory, and won’t be shocking to any fans of horror. Which, is honestly a little disappointing. The Green Inferno seems too often like a conservative tease, attempting to revitalize a storyline that exploitation filmmakers thrived on, but never really testing the boundaries.
The Green Inferno is probably worth the viewing the same way as 2007’s Grindhouse is. It’s a throwback experience, provides plenty of action and gore, but really is more a tribute than a re-imagining of the genre. Eli Roth regularly produces films that are hit or miss among horror fans, and The Green Inferno is certainly one of those titles. If you enjoyed Hostel, you’ll probably be able to enjoy The Green Inferno, even if isn’t as gruesome, disturbing, or original. Certainly enjoyable and worth a watch, but nothing too special.