Not that there was probably anyone who would have gone to see it, but I can't recommend going to see The Green Inferno.
There was so much hype behind this film in the horror community. It had been seen as long as two years ago, but is just now hitting theaters.
It takes a concept which may seem fresh, but has been done countless times by Europeans, and done much better previously.
I went into this with an open mind, but about two minutes in, I knew I was going to be disappointed. The acting from the cast is God awful, and the script/plot that plays out in front of you makes you sit there scratching your head at how this is getting a pretty wide release.
From the first few shots, you can tell that this was shot low-budget. And there's nothing wrong with that sometimes. One of my favorite indie horror films of the past decade was The Dead, and it had a similar look to it. But when you combine the poor acting, it really gives off the amateurish vibe that you don't want in a theater. At home? Watching Netflix? It's passable, but spending your money to see the movie on the big screen? Meh.
The only merits I can give the film is that the tribes people were actually the best actors in the entire film. They were more believable than the people they were eating, which is kind of absurd if you think about it. Cannibal films have been done before, and what made them effective was that for whatever reason is that the natives that are portrayed usually play their parts very well, and the actors can play well off of them.
Here? It's terrible. Absolutely putrid. You cannot suspend your disbelief when you see drama kids who are clearly just acting because they're being told to act. It's honestly quite frustrating, because Eli Roth got a great location to film in, and has some great shots of the rain forest, but because he couldn't really direct and because the actors were so very amateur as well.
So, what about the gore?
Cannibal films have always been some of the most gruesome, and vile films to have ever been produced and released. This film is fairly tame, even for Eli Roth. You have one pretty gruesome cannibal scene early on, but after that, it's very tame. You have the first main scene where he's dismembered, and cooked, but after that we don't really see anyone else. You see some kind of amusing scenes where people are killed off, but it's typically quick and dirty. The worst scene is where a guy is tied up to a pole, and lathered with some muck that attracts ants. You know, killer ants. The kind that eat peoples flesh? The kind that are heavily CGI? The kind that you'd see on SyFy? Yeah, it was that bad... In some of the previous cannibal films, you'll see bodily mutilation (penises chopped off, breast meathooks, vaginal mutilation), but here you get a guy who's taking a piss in the forest and a tarantula walks on it, and that's supposed to be the "vile," part of the film. Man, whatever.
The film tries to hard to tie back in some referenced material earlier, and just makes it seem convoluted. There's a woman (played by Eli Roth's actual wife) who is trying to raise awareness through activism that women are being mistreated and genital mutilation is commonplace, and so there's a few scenes that are teased in there, but you are kind of left wanting more.
Cannibal films were made notorious through the likes of Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox. As mentioned previously, the terror that these characters went through was devastating. Heartbreaking. And of course, incredibly gruesome. There's not a genre-fan out there who will see this movie (who had previously seen a cannibal movie) and go, "Wow, they really pushed the envelope with that one!" We've seen it before, and done far better.
I remember seeing my first cannibal film when it was still unreleased in the USA. I had to get a bootleg because that was the only way I could watch it at the time. You couldn't even rip movies from the internet yet. You had to find someone with a copy of a foreign disc, and have them copy it. I had seen all of the more common gruesome films in horror history, but this was so real. The effects done in these films 30 years prior were better than what Roth put out. And one of the most controversial tidbits about a lot of these films is that they used real animal mutilation at times; I've probably seen half a dozen animals die in front of the camera. It's quite sad, but really engages you as a viewer.
I didn't go into the plot much because, it's quite frankly stupid, and not worth mentioning. Roth really tries to nail down some hard stuff when it comes to uprooting these uncivilized tribes, but it's so muddled because of the lack of a fine touch.
What's also most frustrating is that I know Eli Roth has a love for the genre, and a love for this sub-genre in particular. He has subtle nods that no one else would know about, and in the credits one of the last lines is "Per Ruggero," who is the director of the most infamous cannibal film ever, Cannibal Holocaust. But he allowed such pisspoor acting in front of his camera, and focused too much on a plot which was not important, that he could've just focused on that, and he could've had a decent film.
He didn't have to go Apocalypto with it, it didn't need to be THAT good, but ugh. A film which was made for only two million more than this is something like The Ruins. The Ruins is a far better (albeit still not great) film which delves into interactions between two parties where the rain forest is the common denominator. Except that film had far better acting, far better direction, and far better cinematography.
So yeah, I can't really recommend anyone see this. Not regular horror fans. Not people who just want a good scare. I don't even want to recommend it to Noskey even as a horror fan, because it's just so mediocre. Painfully mediocre.
I need to go re-watch Black Mass to get this taste out of my mouth.