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The Green Inferno

The question about Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno is less whether or not it is a good movie—many reasons exist as to why it is not—than whether it delivers the promised goods. Thankfully, The Green Inferno delivers what the Hostels did not. Gore abounds, with horrifying acts of cannibalism and violence so explicit as to make one wonder how the horror flick earned its R rating. 

A group of mostly nameless and faceless American college students, led by Alejandro (Ariel Levy, from the underwhelming The Stranger, which was presented by Roth) and Roth’s wife, Lorenza Izzo, head into the rainforest to protest the destruction of indigenous villages. But a plane crash leaves eight of them at the mercy of their Peruvian hosts, an unwelcoming tribe of cannibals. What the tribesmen do to the survivors is as graphic as any fan of late ‘70s/early ‘80s Italian cannibal movies—like the granddaddy of found footage, Cannibal Holocaust—would desire. Unlike Cannibal Holocaust’s director, Ruggero Deodata, no one will be threatening to jail Roth for murder if he cannot produce his principal players; we have grown a bit worldlier about these sorts of flicks since 1980. 

Roth’s film fails to be as effectively discomfiting as its inspiration due to some atrocious acting that particularly hamstrings the first act setup. Once everyone is screaming in terror, the question of acting quality mostly disappears, though the characters, particularly Alejandro, are among Roth’s worst; he makes Hostel’s Paxton look like Luke Skywalker. Roth should be taken to task for some of the digital effects work, as well; genre fans prefer you keep it practical. Nevertheless, Roth, who had been more focused on acting and producing for almost a decade, returns with his best gorno yet, an extremely awful movie that will sate the appetites of its audience.