Green Inferno Movie Review - Welcome to the Jungle
As I often preach about my adoration for the horror genre, one of the reasons is the utter variety in itself. Much like rock or metal music, horror has many, many subgenres. You have everything from slashers to creature features, torture porn to psychological horror, and even a sect that enjoy holiday horror, as it's called. But one of the most controversial of the groups is cannibal horror. Reaching it's zenith in the early 80's with films like 'Cannibal Holocaust' and
'Cannibal Ferox', it appeals to a very particular group of fans and certainly isn't something that would have much mass appeal. These films were often very low budget, shot very poorly and crudely, to the point where many have questioned whether they were real. The director of 'Cannibal Holocaust' even had to go to court back in the day to prove it was fake and that the actors were really alive. They feature just obscene amounts of gore and blood and guts, and that's about it. Some Americans always come into contact with an indigenous tribe somewhere in South America, and the tribe always turns out to be cannibals and mayhem ensues. This is exactly what you should expect with 'The Green Inferno'. While it certainly isn't reinventing the wheel, it doesn't really need to. Eli Roth has become a very polarizing figure in film. Some love his work, giving him sole credit for inventing the "torture porn" genre with Hostel, while others think he's not that talented at all. I don't fall in either camp, though I've enjoyed his movies, I don't think he's particularly great, but he does fly the banner for horror very proudly. Plus, he was awesome in 'Inglorious Basterds'. So when he announced he was doing a throwback to the vintage cannibal films, a lot of ears perked up. I myself questioned how far he would be able to take it in today's overly PC world, and surprisingly, the answer to that is pretty damn far. The gore in this film is just so over the top and in your face, it was somewhat shocking to see it in a wide release movie nowadays. We're talking close ups of eyes being gouged out, cutting off of limbs, graphic beheadings, slit throats, and I'm not even going to spoil the rest. The effects are done by KNB, the same guys that do 'The Walking Dead', so suffice it to say they're pretty rad, except for one of my biggest gripes, horrible digital blood. I really hate that.
So I said this wasn't a reinvention of the wheel. No one is going to see this for the story or the acting, which are both obviously the weakest elements, but I guess that's the trade off. We're introduced to an insanely generic group of college students, who are all a part of this activist group, and they hatch a plan to go protest in Peru where they are dozing down the forest, therefore eliminating an indigenous tribe. They get there, things go awry. Lots of blood and guts to be had. The story is actually pretty silly, and it's a hamfisted attempt to satirize these hippy folk that go on hunger strikes and picket and sing songs in a circle. It's a little too blatant for my liking, but they're always such easy targets. It's like they made forced attempts to make it relevant to the fads of today, with things like they're live streaming their protests, they have their own hashtags, one of them mentions that they're trending worldwide, etc. It came across as pandering to the youth of today, but it was satirical. I knew going in, the storyline would be non-existent. Hannibal Lector is the only cannibal that's ever been given and interesting and original story. Like I mentioned before, the acting was a problem. None of the characters were seemingly likeable, save for one or two, and they were likeable because they were more for comedic relief. I'll go so far as to say there are actually some pretty terrible performances in this movie, but were they written or directed that way? This isn't exactly 'The English Patient'. One more small gripe, there are actually a couple of shots of CG in this movie, that stick out like a sore thumb and are a couple of the worst I've ever seen. You'll know them when you see them, they both involve animals. They completely took me out of the movie. I did find it very interesting that this tribe in the movie was an actual real life indigenous tribe, that I believe had never had any contact with anyone else. They were the heart and soul of the movie. While from one perspective, I guess they would be the "villains", but at the same time, you like them better than the main characters. So a film like this is very hard to review. Are the masses going to like it? Heck no. It appeals to a very niche group of people. Most people like to be scared, but most people don't want to see a guy being eaten alive, with his intestines being ripped out. So it's not a movie I can recommend to just everyone. Your average movie-goer just simply wouldn't have the stomach for it and would see it as perverse trash. But I can wholeheartedly recommend it to you if it's your kind of movie. If you know what you are going to watch, and watch it with the intention of being gleefully entertained and grossed out, it's a blast. And this is definitely the kind of movie you want to watch at a cinema. The gasping and the physical squirming of the people in the audience was such a fun and entertaining experience, and one that isn't too common anymore. So if you're interested in the least and think you have the stomach for it (unlike the guy that was sitting in front of me!), check it out, leave your brain at the door and just be entertained! Gotta give this a 7 out of 10 for horror fans. If you're not a fan of blood and gore, it would probably be a 4 out of 10. Like I said, you just have to keep an open mind and know what you are going to see...