The Green Inferno (Eli Roth, 2013): USA

Reviewed by Nick Van Keuren. Viewed at the AFI Fest 2013.

If you enjoy movies such as Hostel, you will not be turned off by Eli Roth’s newest addition to his gruesome collection of cranium-splattering flicks, The Green Inferno. With the help of his friend and mentor Quentin Tarantino, Eli rounded up a lively young cast to play a group of concerned Columbia University activists who decide to take a trip to the Amazon in effort to protest land developers.

The relatively young age of Eli Roth truly comes out in this production, as he makes an effort to give the audience some good laughs predominantly throughout the first act.. up until the plane crash scene when things seem to become all too real in a matter of seconds. Those lucky (or unlucky) few who survive the crash are then captured by a tribe of bizarre looking, flesh eating cannibals who keep them caged up until they decide which student they want to sink their decayed teeth (tooth) into.

Eli Roth equips each character with their own unique highs and lows of morality, which he presents sporadically as they all ensue day to day survival in the midst of the cannibalistic tribe. When it comes to the protagonist, this is not your ordinary film. Eli does a good job leaving the audience second guessing who will come through as the “good guy” in the end. In contrast, this creates an array of blurriness for the viewer as far as who to trust. The cast was far from being the only believable thing on set.

What gives this cannibal flick a different taste from all the rest is the degree of realness it creates for the audience. One can most definitely recognize and hopefully appreciate the genius input that Eli Roth received from fellow director Quentin Tarantino. Whether it’s a close up decapitation shot that leaves nothing to hide, or the abrupt suicide scene that includes what seems to be as much blood as there water in the Amazon, I would strongly question anyone who feels let down in terms of realistic gore.

The uneasy feeling I got while watching the head hunters rip apart the limbs of one of the meatier student was the same uneasiness I often received even in the more nonviolent scenes where the director had no real intention of macabre. For example, I felt that even just the simple idea to paint every tribe member in red body paint was enough to give off an eerie vibe, not to mention the freakishly odd noises the flesh eaters would make.

Overall, I would give The Green Inferno a respectful 7 out of 10 stars. I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone who prefers movies based on student activists who survive a plane crash and resort to getting a tribe of cannibals high in attempt to escape. It is a movie like no other in a way, Eli told us before the viewing that you have to watch it with a mindset that it is its own movie and just that, and to clear our minds of any other movie we think it may be trying to be.

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