“The Green Inferno” popped on my screen a few days ago … whilst watching the intro I was trying to remember who “Eli Roth” is, eventually my somewhat dim grey matter reminded me that he did the “Hostel” movies.
Horror is not my preferred genre at all, in fact watching paint dry is normally preferable to me than watching most horror movies. What I liked about Eli’s previous success “Hostel” was that that movie was scary beyond “scary”, insofar that the ideas presented were plausible in reality. That – there could be gangs who kidnap travellers and “sell” them to people who want to torture them. That – money could (and probably does) come before human dignity and life, for some people. That – for me is frightening, very frightening. Gory blood and guts which is obviously theatrical IS NOT frightening to me in the slightest, and probably why I generally avoid the horror genre.
Back to “The Green Inferno” – After watching literally thousands of movies, what I most like to do, is study the narrative behind the narrative. That is – what the agenda of the writer or film maker is beyond what the characters are doing and who they’re being. It’s what I call “the real story”. I very much liked Eli Roth’s social commentary in the “The Green Inferno”, and as luck would have it I came across a review on IMDB, which said pretty much what I’d been thinking :
“Yes, there is some social commentary in the movie, mostly poking fun at today’s society and how everyone wants to ‘appear’ to be fighting for a cause when in fact, they are doing very little. And yes, he has a point here, but it isn’t as thought provoking as he wants it to be, especially once the carnage starts and those ideas fly out the window. Only for those ideas to awkwardly return at the end of the movie.”
Matthew Birkhofer from -www.simplefilmreviews.com
I do and I DON’T agree with what Matthew on what he says in this review. I think Eli Roth masterfully weaved in his social commentary on the popular “‘appear’ to be fighting for a cause” very well, without being fanatical about it, or labouring it, it was subtle enough to just be a comment rather than a cause in and of itself.
“The Green Inferno” for a “normal” narrative isn’t really all that interesting – “Bored spoilt brats sign up for a cause of saving some rare native Amazonians from execution and extinction, by wealthy energy company, who want the natural resources underground. Spoilt brats appear to succeed. Ironically, a “freak plane accident” leaves spoilt brats stranded, and are then captured by the same rare Amazonians who turn out to be cannibals. Spoilt brats are tortured and gradually decease one by one at hands of cannibals, for the cannibal’s lunch. Protagonist spoilt brat is the sole escapee of the cannibals and miraculously gets back home alive. Protagonist spoilt brat lies in public about what took place, in order presumably to make it look like the cause was and still is righteous, and so therefore presumably is she.” – pretty much sums it up for me.
Do I apologise for spoiling the movie for you ? No, I wont, don’t read film reviews on my blog, I don’t do ’em the same as other people do, I do ’em how I want to do ’em. For me what’s important is the narrative behind the narrative, plots are of secondary in importance.
Bit like a magician figuring out how other magicians do their tricks. And why I still love the “Masked Magician” TV series, for exactly the same reasons.
So I like very much Eli Roth’s attempts to push the envelope in a cinematic genre that has little appeal to me. In the genre itself, through presenting something which is truly frightening and scary, beyond blood and guts, AND his pointing out truth in his social commentary. All whilst masterfully providing the illusion that it’s a blood and guts horror flick. That’s entertainment magic right there.
Bottom line, for me 9/10 for “The Green Inferno”. It isn’t for everyone, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it if I was at the cinema, but glad it popped up on my TV because otherwise I’d have missed something I thoroughly enjoyed.
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