So does this film compare to what it seemed to try to be a companion piece to?
No, not really. But on that same note, I feel I should also say I don’t feel Cannibal Holocaust is a good film either. It’s shocking and disturbing absolutely, but once you get past that what is there? Not much. But this isn’t a review of Cannibal, it’s a review of The Green Inferno. A film that had good ideas in it, but much like the small Timothy Green, it just couldn’t grow to it’s full potential, and that in my opinion hurts worse than it simply being a bad movie.
You may be wondering what the title of this review means, or maybe you think I’m trying to make some sort of clever joke if you know the reference. Well I’m not trying, I did. Many years ago, (1979 to be exact) a film came out called Cannibal Holocaust and it shocked everyone and is still pretty extreme by today’s standards, and eventually became the standard film to show your buddies to try to get a good reaction out of them. Fast forward to today and a new film comes out, called The Green Inferno made by Eli Roth who has been quite vocal about Cannibal’s influence on his filmmaking style and this particular movie. Years ago (2005) Roth made a film called Hostel which got quite the reaction from audiences for its gore and extensive torture scenes. Now knowing that, how crazy, shocking, and upsetting would Eli Roth’s take on this genre be? The answer, in just a few moments.
And we’re back. And the answer is no, not that really.
No, Roth never did say he was directly going to remake the film, but again with his being vocal about his love of the film, and one look at the trailer, hell, The Green Inferno actually was at one point the working title for Cannibal, I couldn’t myself really couldn’t tell the difference between the two.
What is different about the two films? Well to start off, the plot. But not by that much. The Green Inferno is about student activists who travel to the amazon to what seems like save the rainforest. Upon their arrival, we find out that these kids actually don’t really care all that much about the cause that they’re fighting for, but rather for bragging rights among themselves and other people they know. So, they arrive on the island and we find out they have more sinister (albeit internal) intentions, as do the islanders. And without spoiling things, things do not go according to the sort of Back to the Future story arc we had believed this to have been.
Now I must admit I kind of like that set up. I think it really says something about certain people in a way I hadn’t really seen before. And for the most part it works, you can see hints of their selfishness in the beginning of the movie (as one character suggests to try to implement new rules in a foreign society because they don’t meet her standards of living). But much like my friend Snoop Dogg, this is the point where Roth unfortunately drops the ball. The rest of the film then becomes a series of jokes that to me were on par with 4th grade humor, and I dare not spoil these as some are way too stupid to believe in my opinion. Speaking of the film structurally, halfway through the film til the end it very much reminded me of Roth’s previous work Hostel (a standard survival horror, mostly hitting the same beats).
I will also say I did appreciate that Roth did not treat these foreigners as savages like most other films do, but rather that this is just a different society and this is what they do in their culture. We eat fried mayonnaise, and they eat people. Really just two sides of the same coin when you think about it. Speaking of the films violence I felt was nothing too outrageous. I don’t know how one really judges how other people eat other people (even though I just did), but trust me any images you think of in your head are probably worse than what happens in this film.