The Green Inferno
- Henry Northmore
- 19 June 2014
Eli Roth delves into jungle cannibalism and gives gorehounds plenty of gristle to chew on
A plane full of student protesters head off half-cocked into the Amazon trying to protect the rainforest and the indigenous tribes. After confronting a team of loggers, their ordeal really begins. On their way back to civilisation their plane crashes in the jungle and they find themselves stranded, lost and being preyed upon by the very people they were trying to protect.
The plot may sound fairly simplistic but underneath the blood and guts there’s a biting satire about rich cosseted students signing up to causes they hardly understand. The characters are sketched in enough so you vaguely care about who gets eaten next. Lorenza Izzo just about carries the film as naïve student Justine while indie singer-songwriter/model Sky Ferreira doesn’t embarrass herself in a supporting role. The fact that director Eli Roth chose to film deep within the Amazon means The Green Inferno looks rich, lush and verdant. Casting locals as extras adds another level of authenticity.
Now onto the meat. With infamous director Roth (Hostel) delving into cannibal exploitation you would expect to blow chunks. Nothing could be as intense and disturbing as Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust (1980) but Roth seems to relish the challenge. Apart from a couple of rubbery corpses and some shoddy CGI ants The Green Inferno features some great gross-out gore. Special effects team Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger prove they are some of the best in the business with some highly detailed butchery, enucleation, evisceration and dismemberment. It's pretty strong stuff, and the cannibalism scenes are claustrophobic, gruesome and suitably disgusting. This is one step beyond what most multiplex horrors would dare to show. The carnage is offset with some sick gags, including a delightfully twisted escape plan involving a bag of weed, but if you're not fond of the red stuff steer clear. However gorehounds will find plenty of gristle to chew on in The Green Inferno.
Screening at Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 20 Jun & Cineworld, Edinburgh, Sun 22 Jun, as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.