The Green Inferno movie poster
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The Green Inferno
The Green Inferno movie poster

The Green Inferno Movie Review

Now available on Blu-ray and DVD (Buy on Amazon)

When watching The Green Inferno, go in with low expectations. The movie is directed by “horror master” Eli Roth, which means you’ll be watching a movie whose best movie up until this year is arguably Cabin Fever. And Cabin Fever was shit.

The Green Inferno suffers from a lot of things that Roth either intentionally injects into his movies because he foolishly thinks it makes them more entertaining, or, more likely, because he’s just not very good at what he does. Those things include:

  • Horrible writing
  • Cheesy acting
  • An excessive use of gore
  • A fear of foreign cultures
  • An odd, sloppy mix of suspense and humor

Of course, if you’re watching The Green Inferno, about a group of college students who are captured by a cannibalistic tribe in the jungles of Peru and ritualistically butchered and consumed, you’re not exactly expecting, or need, a masterpiece. And in that regard, The Green Inferno is a mildly entertaining gorefest.

Lorenza Izzo, who starred in Roth’s other 2015 movie Knock Knock (easily Roth’s best movie), does an okay job in the lead, portraying a wide-eyed and attractive student who gets in way over her head. The rest of the cast is pretty interchangeable and range from tolerable to downright awful, though to measure one’s acting ability against an Eli Roth screenplay is not the best judge of talent.

The movie takes a while to get going, but once the students get stranded, the pace picks up quickly. Yes, the movie is certainly xenophobic--the red-painted indigenous tribe is not exactly the friendliest--but in the shock horror genre, anything goes. There’s plenty of gruesome moments, a mild sense of suspense and a few gratifying moments when characters you don’t like get what’s coming to them.

The film’s biggest weakness is its tonal inconsistencies. Roth plays things fairly seriously, but then slips up and injects humor into some weird places. The students attempt to get the tribe high by lacing one of the dead bodies with weed, but when the cannibals get the munchies, you can only imagine what happens next. It’s a goofy idea that actually could work if the movie didn’t otherwise take itself so damn seriously, but as is, the scene is completely jarring. And this is just one example.

The Green Inferno isn’t a very good movie, but for what it is--a horror movie about cannibals--it delivers what it promises. It’s not a movie you’ll ever need to watch more than once, but it’s certainly a more tolerable Eli Roth movie than most.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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