Cinema Dispatch: The Green Inferno


The Green Inferno and the slightly edited poster in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Eli Roth

Green Inferno may be the worst movie that I have ever seen in my life. I’m never felt so emotionally drained and damaged coming out of a movie. I don’t know who the target audience is for this movie, but I do hope that they don’t like this movie either because I just can’t see the appeal of this outside of some really cynical theories.  Is it that people just want blood and guts?  Well I like blood and guts too, but I certainly didn’t like it in here.  Is it the fact that everyone in the movie is either a terrified victim or an irredeemable monster?  I’ve seen lots of horror movies where that’s the case, and while I think the genre needs to outgrow that dynamic (it’s boring more than anything else) it was done to a level here that feels damn near pornographic or, perhaps more appropriately, sadistic.

I regret that tweet a bit.  I doubt that Eli Roth hates you or anyone else.
I regret that tweet a bit.  I doubt that Eli Roth hates you or anyone else.

The one thing I just can’t stand in movies is pointless cruelty. I can take a movie that is dark.  I can take a movie that has extreme violence against people.  What I can’t take is that kind of violence being used for entertainment; for shock value; for some vague (or maybe not so vague sadly) notion of what the audience wants. It’s just… wrong and I normally wouldn’t use a word that concrete and unequivocal when it comes to talking about a movie, but I just can’t find another way to express how I feel about Green Inferno when I was walking out of it.  I don’t want to start getting hyperbolic and angry because that’s not even how I feel.  Movies like War Room and Pixels get me angry, but this one doesn’t.  I’m just numb and deflated after having seen it.  I don’t know what else to say and I don’t want to talk about the movie itself.  What the Hell is there to talk about anyway?  It’s a bunch of people (environmental activists) who get lost in the woods and get eaten alive by cannibals.  That’s it.  The activists who are taken by the brutal savages (that is definitely how the movie wants us to feel about the tribe) just an alternate between cliché horror movie characters and monstrously evil one dimensional caricatures for no good reason.  For Christ’s sake, the “jerk” character decides to masturbate right after one of the characters kills themselves because they don’t want to be eaten alive AND just found out that the food they have been served was one of her friends who they thought might have escaped.  That is something that happens in the movie, and it’s not funny.  Not in the slightest.  We also don’t get any characterizations for the savages and their ENTIRE culture seems to revolve around torturing, mutilating, killing, and eating people.  I’m guessing they’re so one dimensional so that we can see them as an evil force rather than human beings, but the movie is also using iconography that (poorly I’m guessing) represents some cultures that exist.  I don’t believe that Eli Roth hates Amazonian tribes, but he just doesn’t care enough to have the good taste not to make a movie this fucking cruel and have it based around a single human target that exist in this world.  Speaking of not giving a fuck, the asshole uses the threat female genital mutilation to mount tension in one scene.  REALLY!?  Is the guy opposed to taste or restraint on principal?  When they were teasing it, I promised myself I would walk out if they went through with it which is something I’ve never done in a movie.  Thankfully, they didn’t actually do it (still not acceptable to even tease it) so I didn’t walk out.  I still kind of wish I had though.

It was a forty minute drive home from the theater, and I did indeed lose that battle.
It was a forty minute drive home from the theater, and I did indeed lose that battle.

When I was a kid I was pretty much a scaredy cat.  How bad was I?  Jurassic Park fucked me up for a really long time when I saw it at 6 or 7 years old.  I had dinosaur decals on my wall and I had to get them removed because of how much that movie affected me.  What eventually got me through it is that I started going to a Blockbuster every week and I would rent all the horror films I could find.  Partially to get over my fear, and admittedly to also hopefully to see some boobs.  Hey, I was fourteen.  I love horror films now.  I love Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Chucky, and all the rest!  Hell, I was able to find artistic merit in The Human Centipede 2 which is a terrible film but does do some things right that I can respect.  Somehow though, this movie just broke me.  I feel so emotionally drained after watching this and it sort of brought me back to how I felt when I watched Jurassic Park when I was a kid.  If you need a comparison, the only other movie I can think of that is this cruel is Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door which ALSO has genital female mutilation, so there’s that.  That film didn’t make me break down the way this one did, but it’s definitely along the same lines of pointless cruelty without a real reason for it other than being edgy.  If you’re still reading this and can understand where I’m coming from, then I honestly don’t think this movie is for you.  That said I’ve had such a strong emotional reaction to this film that you may want to take everything I say with a certain amount of salt.  What ended up cutting me like a fucking knife may not have any effect on you and that’s perfectly OK. I’m sure that they’re a bunch of movies that I absolutely love that other people loathe and have really negative reactions to and I don’t want to take that away from them.  If you enjoy this movie, then good for you for having one more movie out there that you like.  In my opinion, this may be the worst film I’ve ever seen in my life and I never want to see it again.

4 thoughts on “Cinema Dispatch: The Green Inferno

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s