“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.
Resources & Sources
Unless otherwise stated everything here is (c) DonCharisma.org, all rights are reserved.
Stills and photos from the movie – are the courtesy of their respective production studios and/or distribution companies, and are intended for editorial use only, what’s thought to be “fair use”.
Comments are often welcomed, provided you can string a legible, relevant and polite sentence together. In other cases probably best shared with your therapist, or kept to yourself.
6 thoughts on “The Green Inferno”
Interesting. I am with you on the concept of what constitutes real horror. The acts of humans at their worst as a real possibility….way worse than blood and guts which are makeup tricks. Thanks.
You’re welcome, as yes I’m far more afraid personally of cruel and evil people than gore on it’s own 🙂
Honestly, I think you just made the movie better for me. I am a HUGE horror fan and this movie as a horror flick failed on so many levels. There were just too many holes and poor acting. I especially wonder what happened to the one girl who escaped onto the boat? But, this is off the point. I had no idea why the girl lied in the end about what happened, and your commentary cleared that up for me. Upon thinking about it, I like your review more than the movie because I was not watching the movie with your point of veiw. I would have rated the movie a 4/10 but after reading your commentary I have adjusted my rating to a 7/10. Thanks for a thoughtful and unique review. It caused me to think, more than the movie itself. I applaud your movie review skills and enjoyed reading your commentary. Excellent!
You’re very welcome, and nice review of my review 🙂 … I try to make sense of what’s happening “higher up”, as then then “lower down” things then start to make more sense to me …
And yes, those loose ends, and things that don’t quite fit together can really ruin a movie … a book I read once on story telling said that’s a big no no, don’t introduce characters and parts of the plot, if you’re not going to include them – the audience does notice, and makes them enjoy less … most majorly successful movies I’ve watched are very careful not to do this …
As for the girl who escaped in the boat, I don’t remember whether she was recaptured, or ended up impaled on a spike, or was just “forgotten about” … it’s also possible they may have have to remove a scene or two for the (American ?) censors, which could cause a movie to loose it’s flow with parts of the plot appearing unfollowed … I think each country has it’s own board of censors (perhaps at a state level in USA ?), and they do ask for scenes to be removed in order for the film company to get a licence to show it to the public … so might not even be “the movie’s” fault …
will be watching that movie again later 🙂