Directed by Eli Roth. Produced by Miguel Asensio, Jason Blum, Molly Conners, Nicolás López, Eli Roth, and Christopher Woodrow. Written by Eli Roth and Guillermo Amoedo. Release date: September 25, 2015.
It is with The Green Inferno - the long-delayed movie from horror director Eli Roth - that we must ask ourselves some important questions. Can a film still be considered "good" if it accomplishes its goal, even if all of its individual elements fail to hold up to inspection? What if that goal is reprehensible? How do you judge a movie that wants to shock your senses, repulse you, and do little more? If it accomplishes that, through whatever means, does that mean it's a success? I'm not sure there are right or wrong answers to any of these, but just thinking about them is a good first step.
The Green Inferno, as you have likely surmised, is a movie whose intention is to make your eyes widen and your stomach turn. It doesn't want to do a whole lot more than make you sick, grossed out, and maybe a little dizzy. It does so through excessive violence, genital mutilation, more violence, cannibalism, and - you guessed it - even more violence. Who needs good characters, an interesting plot, slick cinematography, or strong acting when you can throw buckets of blood and guts at the camera?
The story we do get sees a group of college activists - played by Eli Roth's wife, the younger Spy Kid, and a bunch of nobodies - fly to the Amazon rainforest to protect the indigenous tribes, only to have their plane crash and get taken hostage by those they sought to save. As it turns out, the natives are not friendly and are very cannibalistic. Beyond a few escape attempts and a bunch of incredibly gruesome scenes, there's nothing more to The Green Inferno.
It's true that you're unlikely to see a more violent and disgusting movie this year. If you go to the cinema to experience images and feelings you don't get in your day-to-day life, then The Green Inferno certainly delivers. It is gross. It is repulsive. It is reprehensible. It wants to offend. It hopes to outrage. And it accomplishes its goals. This is a movie that is difficult to watch, intentionally ramping up its premise and its violence to the highest degree permitted by its R rating, which, by the way, reads like this:
Rated R for aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.