Let’s take a giant step backward.
Green Inferno is another film by the terrible director that is Eli Roth (seriously, how the hell this guy became a thing is beyond me). It came out in 2013, but be honest, most of you forgot this movie existed. Don’t worry, I’m not blaming you, this is a largely forgettable film.
Roth likes to make “extreme” horror films for people who only see a horror film once in a while and think The Conjuring is disturbing. He is a wanna-be in the extreme cinematic world and will never really be anything more than that.
After his dreadfully boring Hostel movies he moved on to making racist cinema (I guess). This film is the type of horror film you’d expect to be made in the 1980s when other exploitation cannibal films were popular. A couple decades late and a dollar short we end up here, with Green Inferno.
Roth wears his seemingly newfound right-wing politics on his sleeve (as evidenced here and Death Wish) and wants us to chastise students protesting health insurance for janitors and so forth. I don’t know why we have these scenes as they mean nothing. We’re sure to throw in some usage of the term retard and such tripe to make sure we all know this is an edgy film.
I work on college campus. This is not how colleges are. Ever. Seriously. The hilarity of this crap that tries to make college students look like idiots is that they so clearly have no idea what they are arguing about.
Anyway, the movie is actually about a bunch of obnoxious strawmen college students travelling to the Amazon to protest mistreatment but end up getting captured by a psychotic and subhuman indigenous group.
However, we have to go through about half of the fucking runtime before we even get to the capture. This is the problem with all of Roth’s narratives—they aren’t complete in any way. We end up stuffing them with unimportant characters who are uninteresting and emptyheaded. I’m not sure who we’re supposed to be rooting for as everyone in this film is completely despicable. Maybe Roth should make short horror films. I mean, he’s only got about five minutes of interesting material for every 90-minutes he produces. I think he believes he is so erudite in creating stereotypical characters to mock, but he is just another shallow director desperately trying to chase cultural memes.
God, how was this movie made in 2013?
This isn’t to say couch-activism shouldn’t be critiqued, but Roth seems to think it would be better to do nothing. His worldview is one of extreme cynicism where a millionaire film director can mock often poor students for trying to at least do something to solve a problem. I mean, how much of the profits of this film went to protecting the Amazon?
Many have charged the film as racist, and these claims are hard to deny. While Roth has claimed the corporations are his target, he clearly doesn’t know how to portray a villain. The indigenous tribe is presented as something other than human. The cruelty and malice they show towards the survivors reminds me of white supremacist narratives arguing the people of Africa are actually human looking animals. This film would fit nicely into Stormfront’s suggested viewing with only a minor tweak or two.
Perhaps that is the most damning thing I can say about the film. This narrative could (and probably has) be used as propaganda to justify the elimination of tribes in the Amazon or elsewhere. The savage native is an old stereotype that one would have thought long dead.
The film (and Roth by extension) is praised for the gory deaths. I suppose if we remove all the other bullshit from the narrative, we can say that the effects are nicely done. However, in a narrative that seems to try as hard as it can to make sure you don’t care about anyone in it, does the gore really matter?
I guess Roth wants to disgust you with his films. I find the gore boring, and the portrayal of indigenous groups as psycho-violent-rapists a terrible and old stereotype. I don’t often bring in my professional life to my reviews (because this isn’t the format for it), but I study how white supremacist ideas have been utilized in narrative. This is the first major film of the last twenty years (that I have seen) where all my alarm bells went off. I’m not saying Roth is a racist, but this film sure as fucking hell is.
I’d avoid this trash if you can.