I have seen good in Eli Roth, I think everyone saw that in Inglorious Basterds. But to be honest, besides that, everything else that I’ve seen is really just lazy and very exploitative. The Green Inferno will not show you some new side of Eli Roth and is exactly what you would expect. But worse. I went into this thinking that it had some potential of maybe not being detestable, but I was wrong. I think the best way to describe this film is contemptible, vile torture porn. This entire film is just a way for Roth to show you how disgusting and exploitative he can be. I’m going to lay out exactly why I feel this way and hopefully save you from this travesty.
So we open with two female college roommates, Justine and Kaycee. Right off the bat – I mean within the first couple of minutes – my hopes for this film went way down, and that was due to the acting. Sky Ferreria’s performance as Kaycee will literally induce cringing, I mean it’s just so stale and like she doesn’t care or wanna be there. Then, we have Lorenza Izzo, who plays our lead character Justine, and although she does get a lot better as the film progresses, she’s also pretty cringeworthy at first. So for the first 10 or 15 minutes, we are forced to endure watching these two girls interact and it’s impossible to care because of how fake and lifeless it all is.
So then, the meat of the plot kicks in, which consists of Justine getting involved in this student activist group and agreeing to go on a trip to try and save this Amazonian tribe from a corporation who wants to bulldoze their land. It sounds so valiant and noble right? It would be if not for a crash-landing that strands them in the land of this tribe, who just happen to be cannibalistic.I already talked about the very weak opening that consists of nothing but horrible acting, but unfortunately the problems don’t stop there. While some of the performances get better as the film goes along, the script for sure does not. The script is consistently awful, ranging from lazy to bizarre. For example, there are several moments that I suppose are meant to provide comic relief, but all they do is make you confused or just offended by the vile nature of it. One is where Daryl Sabara (Spy Kids) who plays Lars goes to pee in the jungle and a tarantula is climbing on a limb near where he’s urinating which leads to him running out screaming “a tarantula almost bit my dick off!” Oh and we have get a shot of his pubic region and penis for no reason. The other example is when a caged girl becomes ill with violent diarrhea, she squats in a corner and you hear these loud gross sounds as everyone around her reacts with horror. There is also a scene in which a male character starts pleasuring himself during all the violent chaos. I mean do I even need to explain how any of that is just garbage?
Let me get to the nitty gritty of the film, the blood and guts. Imagine how graphic you think the violence and torture can get then times it by ten. I had to look away so many times because it was just too much. I’ve seen graphic violence before, but this was just way too far. The carnage and gore on display is just gratuitous. There’s no reason for them to go to the levels they do. My general rule of thumb is: if you’re going to show graphic violence, have a reason for it. If it’s simply torture porn, then I check out.
And I might have forgiven some of it if there were at least a good story or some worthwhile characters, but there’s not. Also, there are certain things in the film that don’t really make much sense. Several times, something seemingly dangerous and scary will occur but then everything’s totally fine thirty seconds to a minute later and I’m like what was the point of throwing that in there? And on top of all that, the visual effects (including the plane crash) look so shoddy and fake – embarrassingly so.
An obvious question is: is there anything good at all about The Green Inferno? There are two small things, the only reasons I even finished this film. The scenery is truly beautiful, while the special effects are awful, the Amazonian scenery is really great. The other is Lorenza Izzo. It’s true that her acting is pretty bad in the beginning, but fortunately it does get better and I ended up liking her performance as it went along. Its honestly too bad she’s in such an awful film.
This could’ve been a well done film, but I think having someone like Eli Roth behind it is what killed it. Eli Roth has made it clear that he’s not really interested in making good films and is more interested in torture porn and exploitative violence. If he was interested in making good films, then he would take two seconds to write a competent script, get something that resembles good performances from his cast, and create a story that’s both scary and interesting. You can be shocking and scary in a good way, but this is just lazy. Clearly nothing matters to him except the blood and guts.