Cannibalistic Craziness: “The Green Inferno” Review

green_inferno_ver3

College freshman Justine (Lorenza Izzo) decides to join the student activist group to help save the Amazon rainforest. Her roommate Kaycee (Sky Ferriera) disapproves of this and recommends against it, especially when Justine decides to join the group led by Alejandro (Ariel Levy) on a trip to stop the bulldozing. Justine believes she’s doing the right thing and everything will be fine. However, when the group’s plane crashes in the jungle, they soon learn about the tribe that lives there, and they soon find themselves entering into a nightmare.

Directed by Eli Roth, The Green Inferno is the latest cannibalistic horror film to grace the theater screen. When I saw the trailers for this, it looked like it could have had a strong Cannibal Holocaust vibe, and it did a decent job of building tension without really showing anything. Unfortunately, the outcome I received was not what I was expecting from the trailers. For the most part, the film had a really good build up until the main events took place. We got to know the characters and their mission (I can’t stand activists, so I will keep those feelings at bay), and for the most part, all except for two of the characters were likable and it does suck seeing them go. Along the way we have some genuinely funny moments that added even more likability to the characters. However, after the first kill (which was fantastic), that’s when it starts to go downhill. With how brutal and excellent the first kill was (which had fantastic effects by the way), I was expecting everything afterwards to be just as good, if not maybe even better. This was not the case. After the first kill, the deaths become very generic and boring and nothing I would deem very disturbing except for maybe one other kill towards the end, and quite a few missed opportunities to actually add more disturbing moments. To add to this, there ended up being a bunch of humor in it that took away what I was expecting from the film. I admit I did laugh at those moments, but essentially I was expecting a full-blown horror movie that was going to try and disturb its audience to the core. The laughs were effective, but for me it ruined the horror. Even if this was intentional on Eli Roth’s part, I felt it wasn’t necessary. Then there is the ending to tack onto that. The ending had me furious with how it played it out. I don’t know if the ending, along with the comedy was meant to make the film a satire of some sorts involving activism, but regardless it didn’t work for me at all. Though, despite that, and along with the well-done effects of the kills, the portrayal of tribe was genuinely unsettling, but then of course you have the black sheep that shows care towards our main character (bleh). There is also a mid credits bonus scene that I’m assuming was set up for a sequel, but in the end it was completely unnecessary.

The cast as a whole does a great job. Lorenza Izzo provides likability in our leading lady, but there were times when I found her kindness nauseating as well as her hissy fits. She also expresses some great fear in a lot of the scenes that require it. Ariel Levy is excellent as the head activist, and nails his role as the douchebag and easily becomes one of the most despicable characters in a horror film. But most of all, the person that stood out the most to me was Sky Ferreira as Justine’s best friend and roommate. In the limited screen time she had, she was extremely charismatic, funny, and came off as real and almost the voice of reason in the film (at least to me). As much as I wanted to see more of her, I am glad that she didn’t go too far into the story.

The Green Inferno was a film that had such promise to bring some genuine terror to audiences with how well the death effects were and the talent of Eli Roth, a great cast, and well developed characters. However, this is all brought down with missed opportunities, some eye-rolling cliches, the over-abundance of humor (intended or not), and one awful ending.

–Cody Landman

1.5