A group of activists travel to the Amazon to protest the destruction of tribal land, but wind up being captured by the very tribe they were there to protect.
Having seen my share of crusty Italian cannibal films in my day, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, and Roth gave this Midnight audience just what they wanted.
Roth is definitely growing as a filmmaker. Although, his primary intent is still to shock, there is an increasing proficiency in his camerawork and storytelling. While it could've been just the production value of the locale, I felt there was a more grandiose feel to this film that those that have come before it. The decision to use an actual Chilean tribe made for wonderful authenticity, and I was really chuffed that the overused “found footage” device was not employed here. There were also no animal killings in the film, as had been previously rumoured. I doubted there would be, as just seeing Roth's reaction following the Cannibal Ferox, which he presented here in 2012, showed he had no interest in aping the ugliest aspect of the cannibal genre. That alone is proof that Roth is maturing as a filmmaker.
While I didn't find the characters in The Green Inferno as engaging as the ones in Hostel – which could just been because there were a lot more them, and therefore less concentrated – there were a few standouts. Lorenza Izzo, as Justine, was able to portray the naivete of a “slacktivist” in way over her head, but also had the chops to bring her character's arc to fruition. Aaron Burns – who also worked in the effects, camera and second unit departments – as Jonah, also gets a gold star for what he had to endure in the film.
I had to cheer when I saw Greg Nicotero & Howard Berger's names come up in the opening credits because I knew I was in good hands, and boy, did they not disappoint. They elevated their game past their already high levels of excellence. While there are more than a few gore set pieces, the most graphic happens fairly early on, so I felt there was a missed opportunity of escalation in this movie. That said, there was a variety to the gore that was appreciated.
|The cast & crew of The Green Inferno.|
The Green Inferno doesn't add anything to the genre, but Roth has certainly crafted a tale that can proudly stand with the works of Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi. He did right by them. And for those of you that just can't get enough cannibal cookouts, Roth announced at the Q&A that they are just about to go into pre-production on Beyond The Green Inferno, directed by Nicolás López.