You’d assume ten years in to one’s career that a filmmaker would begin to mature as a storyteller. But here we are in 2015, and Eli Roth is still telling the same story. A bunch of inept Americans go in to a foreign country and get brutally massacred. It’s the same xenophobic, sophomoric, silly slop that Roth’s been feeding audiences since “Hostel,” and he doesn’t seem intent on changing the formula any time soon. Roth at heart is still a fan boy stealing from his favorite horror movies, while directing tonally uneven and ridiculous schlock with the intent to shock first and foremost. Really, the intent is to shock and nothing else.
“The Green Inferno” is a silly parade of nonsensical writing that never quite knows what message it’s trying to relay. I’m not sure it has a moral or message to it, but for fans anxious to dissect what Roth relays here, the film is all over the place. Americans are privileged assholes. Savage tribes are barbaric assholes. Fighting for a cause is for chumps. Leaving the world to go to hell is for chumps. The freedom fighters are just wannabe martyrs. College students are coddled. Tribes in the jungle are cannibals because—Eli Roth really enjoys “Cannibal Holocaust”? I’m fuzzy on what the intent is here. Meanwhile Roth draws his narrative like an amateur filmmaker whose foreshadowing is so on the nose, even bored viewers will predict what will inevitably unfold.
I wonder what will happen to the only heavy guy in the group among the cannibals. Gee, our main character is whining about female genital mutilation in her class, I really hope she doesn’t experience that while being held hostage by the tribe. She has a prized silver necklace she keeps with her that plays like a flute, I don’t think that will be a relevant plot device. One of the female members in the group loves tattoos. I’m curious how she’ll fare among the cannibals. One of the crew members is a pot head prone to munchies, man I hope he doesn’t die in a gory ironic manner. Beyond the ridiculous clunky writing and terrible performances, “The Green Inferno” is just Roth trying to see how much gore and toilet humor he can squeeze in to ninety minutes.
Gregory Nicotero and co. are usually on point, but in this day and age, we’ve seen just about everything put to horror cinema, so moments of a man’s tongue being cut out and eaten, or a man being eaten alive by CGI fire ants just comes off as old hat and rote. Roth pushes some dark humor that’s painfully out of place, which only conveys the warped sensibility of the film. Who would possibly laugh at a woman violently releasing their bowels in a corner, when we just finished watching one of the only likable protagonists tortured, dismembered, and eaten? “The Green Inferno” is just more infantile, relentlessly stupid cinema from Eli Roth, who has yet to display an iota of wit or storytelling ability since his last genre outing.