The Green Inferno (2013)
PLOT - A group of student activists head into the rain forest to protest the destruction of an accent village. After a horrible accident on the way back, the students are kidnapped by the people of the very village they were trying to save, and taken as prisoners. Completely helpless, the group are unable to communicate to the natives that they aren't the enemy. Forced to think together to survive, the students make the terrifying discovery that the natives are cannibals.
LOWDOWN - Way back in 2002 I remember going to see Cabin Fever when it had a limited run in theaters. Instantly I fell in love with it's odd ball humor, zany characters, and mindless gore that brought me back to the classics from the 70's and 80's. There I discovered young filmmaker Eli Roth.
Cabin Fever became a huge favorite of mine and hands down the guy's commentary on Cabin Fever is one of the funniest I heard. As a gore hound, I always found Eli's story inspiring. This was a guy from Boston who took his love of gore and did everything he could to make his own type of movies no matter how many haters he had. In 2005, he shocked audiences with Hostel. Pretty much a gritty torture twist on urban legends that came from over seas for years. I myself saw this movie opening weekend with friends back in high school and still remember how much I loved it. Yeah, yeah, it was a bunch of stoner guys looking to get laid who stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time, but truth me told that's pretty much how guys that age would act and get tricked into such a trap. I wouldn't say the movie was a brutal as so many people hyped it up to be (I find films like Pieces much more brutal.) but nevertheless it was a favorite of mine and Eli Roth along with the likes of James Wann, Leigh Whanell, and Rob Zombie was becoming one of the youngest and most up and coming members of the splatter pack. A group of young filmmakers making brutal horror films for my generation.
Shortly afterwards audiences were given the treat so many of them didn't fully understand that they had in the balls to the walls action/splatter packed double feature Grindhouse. One of the best things about this movie were the trailers, the most popular of which was Eli's fake trailer to his 1980's slasher holiday horror Thanksgiving.
The fact this movie has still yet to be made outrages me.
Then Hostel II happened and this is where I feel Eli had his fall from grace. By then Eli was Hollywood's "It' boy for horror. He was working along side the likes of Quentin Tarantino, and as much as I hate to admit it…seemed a little too full of himself. Wanting to expand on his huge box office hit, Eli made Hostel II and sadly even with some newly added elements, the female studded film fell pretty flat and was a bomb at the box office. Now trust me, the dude has his flaws. His films aren't about to win any awards anytime soon. But as much as people rag on the dialog he writes for his characters, as sad as it sounds that's how a lot of young idiot people speak. Trust me, you could get up on a soap box and bitch and moan for hours about him. But I feel the guy honestly aside from all the bullshit is just a fan boy who loves horror and wants to make his own films. I've heard mixed things about him, but I'll give him credit where credit is due. He's made some fun movies, and didn't take himself too seriously. I really don't think we'll ever be able to call him a Carpenter or Craven, but fans of horror need to understand mostly now after Craven's passing that we need younger filmmakers to come forward and keep making movies, no matter how many bomb, or how many tries it takes. But truth me told, I think Eli might have understood he needed to go back to his roots. He stuck with mostly producing and writing films, taking a step back from it all. In 2009 he truly shinned when he starred in Tarantino's epic Inglorious Bastards as The Bear Jew. Not only did he look instantly gorgeous in the film, he practically stole the show. After a few years out of the spot light the hype of his newest feature film began to slowly build up by world of mouth. Deciding to pay tribute to the famous cannibal films from the 1970's and 80's. Eli spun this idea on his head and made it his own.
With this he made the Green Inferno.
I have honestly never seen hype before for a movie like this. I still remember in 2013 the first few images being released of the movie where very little was known. The image of the blond girl, her stunning blue eyes terrified, as she screams in the crowd of natives all staining her face and shirt red with their body paint is forever haunting. Months upon months went by with really nothing else, only that the movie kept getting pushed back further and further. Last year a brief clip on the airplane was shown which was less than forty seconds. I watched in amazement by how realistic and gross it was for just one simple scene. All ready my excitement was building. FINALLY just last week the film was finally released and horror and gore fans' prayers were answered. My good friend Andy who I met at school is a fellow Bastard/Roth fan, and we have been awaiting the release for months now. Last weekend I went with a friend of mine to a pretty empty theater (bums me out when films like this that are actually different instead of being a remake don't get the attention they deserve.) For nearly two hours I was blown away.
I know not a lot of people loved this movie, and trust me I get it. This film isn't for everyone, but strangely I absolutely loved it. Maybe it's because as of lately horror films have been eh. Besides this year's It Follows, I really haven't been completely blown away with horror. With news of more remakes and retellings, I began growing bored with what Hollywood had to offer. There's a new batch of filmmakers pumping out classics that pay tribute to so many beloved classics such as You're Next, It Follows, The Guest, Trick R Treat, ect. I'm glad Roth had his comeback, or at least he did in my eyes. I feel the break he took between Hostel II and this film gave him time to reflect and be able to truly make a serious bad ass movie. Sure it has it's moments, but this movie takes itself for the most part pretty serious. It's brutal, and even mean spirited at times which you honestly don't see often. Roth made a realistic storyline with likable characters that you actually felt bad whenever something happened to them. He built great tension, and captured some truly breathtaking moments on screen. The natives were down right terrifying, the gore stomach turning, and the characters actually seemed like real people you would root for.
The moment the students touched down on South America, my palms were sweating. This is a film that once the action starts it doesn't let up. The final act in the village is visually haunting and stunning. At times like I said beautiful, and an interesting way to show these helpless characters trapped.
You have the gorgeous Lorenza Lzzo, who is now Roth's wife. She was perfect as Justine, the rich innocent college student that wanted to make a difference and put her trust in the wrong people. Her stunning green eyes were beautiful to look at (mostly in the ending scenes when she's in the body paint.) She showed strength, and real emotion as the lead, right down to her nervous terrified smile when the witch doctor (or whatever you would call that woman.) stares at her, to her smile at the little village children, even the look of disgust she gives to a character at the end who betrayed her and her friends. Beautiful work Lorenza, would love to get your character tattooed on me soon!
There's Ariel Levy as Alejandro, the untrusting guide who leads these students into the jungle. First off, crazy handsome, second I could listen to that man read the back of a cereal box and be interested. Such a dream boat "swoon." Loved his character and what a down right asshole he was. Spoilers aside, even tho I don't think we'll get a sequel…you never know.
And lastly you have Daryl Sabara aka the ginger from Spy Kids. I've always had a thing for gingers so I loved this guy. Seeing 89% of his dick in this movie, wow just wow. Certainly a long way from his Spy Kid days. Still, he was a complete riot and one of the most likable characters. He provided most of the laughs in the movies and was utter bullshit with what happened to him.
With the rest of the cast all being great actors, likable, and visually stunning on the eyes, Eli knew where his two main draws were with this film. The characters, and location. With beautiful settings, and a great ending I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. This was the kind of horror movie I've been waiting for and in my eyes, was Roth's comeback. For once we didn't get a remake, we got a film that was original, and a update on the classic jungle cannibal movies we all know and love. This is a film that has stuck with me for not going being a good time, but being gory and brutal as fuck. Barvo Mr. Roth, can't wait to see what else you have up your sleeve. Can't wait to see it again!