Friday, October 28, 2016

The Green Inferno

Directed by Eli Roth and screenplay by Roth and Guillermo Amoedo from a story by Roth, The Green Inferno is the story of young activists who travel to South America where they encounter cannibals as they fight to survive. The film is about the dangers of the unknown as well as the dark encounter with cannibalistic tribes in the middle of South America. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira, Magda Apanowicz, Nicolas Martinez, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Ramon Llao, and Richard Burgi. The Green Inferno is a grimy and unsettling film from Eli Roth.

What happens when a bunch of college student activists try to save the rainforest where their plane crash land in the middle of the Amazon rainforest where they encounter a tribe of hungry cannibals? That is pretty much what the film is about as it play into not just the fallacy of activism but also the situations young people would put themselves all because they want to change the world. Yet, they’re unaware that some things will never change as well as the fact that the civilization they encounter are those that aren’t willing to change but also are people who don’t want to be a part of modern society as they consider the outside world as enemies but most of all, food. The film’s screenplay by Eli Roth and Guillermo Amoedo does have a structure as well as some commentary about not just some of the flaws of activism but also its cynical aspects where it plays into a world that is actually more complicated.

At the heart of the script is its protagonist Justine (Lorenza Izzo) as this college freshman who notices a lot of activism in her school as she has a crush on an older activist in Alejandro (Ariel Levy) who is passionate about what he does. The first act is about Justine becoming an activist and traveling to Peru with a bunch of people to stop bulldozers from destroying the rainforest where they succeed. The second act is about the plane crash and their encounter with the cannibalistic tribe as Justine is seen as some form of a sacrifice due to a discovery a village elder made. At the same time, Justin, Alejandro, and other survivors of the crash not only cope with the situation but also make a bigger discovery about what they were really doing as it showcases a lot of cynicism into activism. The third act is about the need to survive but also what some are willing to do to get help or to save themselves.

Roth’s direction is definitely unsettling not just for its violence but also for the fact that it involves cannibals where they enjoy eating people. While some of the events in the first act and its ending are shot in New York City and the campus of Columbia University. The rest of the film is shot in the Peruvian area of the Amazon with some of it shot in Chile as it play into this world that is quite chaotic where the world of civilization is normal but in the rainforests where things are troubling as there’s bulldozers and such trying to destroy the thing. Roth’s usage of wide and medium shots play into the locations while he would use the latter along with close-ups for some of the intimate moments including the plane crash sequence and some of the chilling moments during the abduction by the cannibalistic tribe. The element of gore is definitely extreme yet there is also an air of dark humor into the film as it relates to the first victim as well as what some do to survive.

There is also a hilarious moment where a character would put weed in a dead body to see what would happen when the characters cook that body and eat it. It is funny but it also some serious consequence as Roth isn’t afraid to make things uncomfortable with its dark humor as well as play with the many conventions and tropes expected in a horror film. Though its conclusion is a bit of a let-down in terms of what a character had experienced, it does at least doesn’t deter too much from the horror that the survivor had encountered. Overall, Roth creates a chilling yet lively film about student activists getting captured by cannibals in the Amazon.

Cinematographer Ernesto Diaz Espinoza does brilliant work with the film‘s cinematography with its usage of natural lighting to capture the beauty of the locations as well as some of the scenes set at night set in New York City. Editor Antonio Querica does excellent work with the editing as it is stylish with some jump-cuts as well as play into the suspense without deviating too much into fast-cuts to build it up. Production designer Mariachi Palacios, along with art directors Fernando Ale and Nicholas Tong and set decorator Armann Ortega, does fantastic work with the look of the home of the tribes as well as some of the places in New York City. Costume designers Elisa Hormazabal and Karma K. Royz do nice work with the design of the tribal clothes as well as the casual look of the students.

The special makeup effects by Ozzy Alvarez, Howard Berger, and Greg Nicotero is amazing for not just the look of tribe but also in the look of the gore and the body parts that is used as food. Visual effects supervisor Rodrigo Rojas Echaiz is terrific for some of the minimal visual effects for the plane crash sequence as well as a scary scene involving ants. The sound work of Dennis Haggerty, Mauricio Molina, and Martin Seltzer is superb for not just the way some body parts sound when they‘re beaten but also in some of the chaotic moments in the locations. The film’s music by Manuel Riviero is wonderful for its orchestral-based score with its element of bombast for the horror while music supervisor Sokio create a soundtrack that feature a mixture of Latin music and contemporary American music.

The casting by Dominika Posseren and Kelly Wagner do marvelous work with the casting as it include some notable small roles from Matias Lopez as a drug dealer who would aid the activists in the protest, Richard Burgi as Justine’s father Charles, Ignacia Allamand as Alejandro’s girlfriend Kara, Ramon Llao as the bald headhunter who is kind of the war leader for the tribe, and Antonieta Pari as the elder chief who has this mystical presence that is just fun to watch. Aaron Burns is terrific as Jonah as a kind-hearted student who would invite Justine to the group while Nicolas Martinez is superb as Daniel as an activist who would be one of the few to make an escape and help out Justine. Magda Apanowicz and Kirby Bliss Blanton are fantastic in their respective roles as the lesbian couple in the athletic Samantha and the vegan Amy as two women who become frightened by their captivity. Sky Ferreira is wonderful as Kaycee as Justine’s roommate who is a total cynical bitch that is very dismissive of activism as she has some valid points where she ends up being the smart one by not going on the trip.

Daryl Sabara is excellent as Lars as the stoner of the group as he is someone that wants to do something but also have fun as he also gets scared while having a plan that would distract the tribe as he is the film’s comic relief. Ariel Levy is brilliant as Alejandro as this passionate activist that is hoping to make a major difference yet there is something about him that is quite complex into the dark realities of the real world as he is also the biggest fucking asshole anyone will ever meet. Finally, there’s Lorenza Izzo in an amazing performance as Justine as a college freshman who goes into the world of activism hoping to make a difference, as well as have a thing for Alejandro, only to endure the most hellish experience of her life where she also becomes a figure of sacrifice for the tribe.

The Green Inferno is a marvelous film from Eli Roth. Featuring a great cast, gorgeous visuals, and some unsettling mixture of gore and terror, it’s a horror film that definitely does whatever it takes to be uncomfortable as well as be entertaining. In the end, The Green Inferno is a remarkable film from Eli Roth.

Eli Roth Films: (Cabin Fever) - (Hostel) - (Hostel: Part II) - Grindhouse-Thanksgiving - Knock Knock - (Death Wish (2018 film)) - (The House with a Clock in Its Walls)

© thevoid99 2016


Brittani Burnham said...

Great review! I'm glad you liked it too. It wasn't perfect, but the gore was great. I like that it's an updated version of Cannibal Holocaust, you know, with the killing of animals and rape.

thevoid99 said...

Thank you. I had a lot of fun watching it. I thought some of it was funny as I was more entertained by it rather than be scared. Sometimes, horror movies don't need to be scary but rather unsettling and funny. Still, I bet cooked human beings taste pretty good once it's broiled and seasoned.