The next report card is for Eli Roth's most buzzed about gore fest, entitled The Green Inferno.
The Green Inferno – directed by Eli Roth; written by Guillermo Amoedo and Eli Roth; starring Lorenza Izzo (Justine), Ariel Levy (Alejandro), Aaron Burns (Jonah), Kirby Bliss Blanton (Amy), Magda Apanowicz (Samantha), Ignacia Allamand (Kara), Daryl Sabara (Lars), Nicolás Martínez (Daniel), Sky Ferreira (Kaycee), Ramón Llao (Bald Headhunter), Antonieta Pari (The Elder).
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW
The characters in the movie are not very fresh. Justine (Izzo) is the naïve virgin freshman whose wits are incredibly questionable. Who in their right mind would go to the jungle to try to get close to a guy who treats you like crap? Really. The only time I was able to truly connect with her was when the Peruvian militia had a gun pointed at her head.
Alejandro (Levy) is the leader of the activist group. I feel as though Roth wanted to create an unlikable character for Alejandro, and he picked every single douchebag cliché in the book. He uses people, does not care for anyone but himself, and masturbates while held captive by crazed cannibals. As one should.
Jonah (Burns) is falling for Justine. He is one of the activists, the only black character, and—surprise!—dies as soon as they get to the village. In my opinion he was the most likable character.
Kara, Lars, Daniel, Amy, and Samantha are other activists, with almost zero character development. They are just there to fill in space and add more victims to the headhunters' list.
Oh boy, where do we begin? The acting in this movie is bad. Really bad. The only reasons I did not give it a F were the natives' performances and the scene where the students are captured by the headhunters. It is important to note that the headhunters and tribesmen were actual locals who decided to participate in the movie. In fact, Eli Roth has said in many interviews that villagers approached to be extras in the film had "never even seen a movie and had no concept of what one was." So Roth hosted a screening of 1980's Cannibal Holocaust, which the villagers thought was a comedy.
Let that sink in. People with no concept of what a film is did better job than the actors.
The real actors in this movie got on my nerves. They were laughable, and not in a good way. There were moments where I just wanted the cannibals to eat them already and move on. They only did a good job when they were screaming and panicking, other than that they were unrelatable and stiff. With that said, the movie is basically gore porn, so I was not expecting any tour de force when it came to acting.
VISUALS (FX, MAKEUP, COSTUMES, SETS): C+
Since the movie was shot in the middle of the Amazon forest, the sets were beautiful and textured. The headhunters' village was particularly very interesting and seemed to borrow many aspects of real tribal living (minus the cannibal part).
The special effects makeup in this film was reminiscent of Hostel. Lots of blood, bodies getting torn apart, eyes getting popped out of their skulls, etc. However, since all the action happened in broad daylight, some of the gags felt a bit gimmicky.
The makeup done on most of the natives was interesting, but the choices made for The Elder were not that great. I felt I was looking at Jack Sparrow's senile grandma, who happened to buy one white contact lens at a local Halloween store.
On the other hand, the CGI (computer generated image) is bad. From the ants used in a torture scene to lounging jaguars, the effects felt amateur at best. They actually reminded me of those Syfy movies about giant crocodiles fighting off anacondas. I am still debating if the CGI was worse than the acting.
MUSIC & SOUND: B+
As any horror fan can tell you, sound can make or break a movie. The Green Inferno makes use of great sounds to complement its carnage, upping the effectiveness of grossing out the viewers. In no moment did I feel it was overdone or overwhelming.
TONE (ACTION, ROMANCE, COMEDY): C
Heavily inspired by Cannibal Holocaust, Roth tried to go to a gory extreme. If you are a horror fan and gore porn connoisseur, you will not be super impressed. The gore can definitely affect some people but felt cliché. Although this movie is a horror movie, it is not really scary. Its intent is to gross the hell out of your pants and see how much you can take.
ACTION: Plenty of scenes of escape attempts and people running. The scene where the airplane crashes was probably the best of the film.
COMEDY: The acting was so bad at times, I laughed hard. If you have a deranged sense of humor you might also laugh at the extreme gore and antics of the headhunters. I know I did. However, be warned: you will most likely not get good belly laughs out of this one. Some chuckles, maybe.
FINAL GRADE: C–
If you like gore porn, you might enjoy this film. Yes, I said might. It is definitely not the best Eli Roth movie, and I do have to say I was disappointed. The Green Inferno has a slow start and tones of expository dialogue that make scenes drag much longer than they should.
The main characters only arrive in the Amazon at the 45-minute mark, and the movie failed to get my heart thumping any faster after that. Yes, the gore was entertaining, but that was it.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE GREEN INFERNO?
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