Inspired by the likes of Man from Deep River, Eaten Alive! and of course Cannibal Holocaust, Eli Roth’s latest, The Green Inferno is as much a love letter to the cannibal genre as anything else. Therefore your degree of enjoyment will be dictated by your affection for the most feared film genre.
Roth gets a lot of things right here, so much so that it surpasses most cannibal films. The set-up, while lengthy, gives us a very believable and interesting method of getting our protagonist students from the idylls of their campus to the depths of the Amazon. Along the way it raises interesting points about the modern glamorization of activism and whether this leads to people using it as means to personal success given its fashionability. It particularly makes reference to the Anonymous movement and just how effective groups like that really are.
Once the activists inevitably end up in the hands of the cannibal tribe however, this film more than delivers on the base and carnal areas of extreme gore and violence. Things kick off with a jaw-dropping set piece as a man is kept alive while he is totally dismembered and has his eyes and tongue gouged out. Nothing that follows lives up to this opener, but this first salvo of bloodshed is an absolute sight to behold.
You can almost smell the flesh cooking thanks to the lengthy and genuinely eerie scenes of villagers preparing a human body to eat as an everyday occurrence. Unfortunately it’s hard to latch onto the characters, especially as most are two dimensional and spend most of their time in a cage. This is still worth catching however, to witness the unlikely return of film’s most notorious genre on the big screen.
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