So, there’s a little story behind this one. It originally was released at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2013. I just so happened to be working there in the Hospitality Suite. Basically, the stars/directors/writers would come into the hospitality suite before and after interviews and we would charge their phones, get them drinks or food, there were couches for them to sit and relax, magazines, we gave away free stuff like cell phone cases and whatnot. On a side note, don’t you think it’s funny that it’s the richest people that get all the free stuff? Anyways, there were people coming and going and then who other than Eli Roth walks in the door. We chatted for a bit, I gave him some snacks and he’s actually a really cool down-to-earth guy. He was there for this movie, which I then needed to watch after meeting him but for some incredibly frustrating reason, after TIFF it was shelved for two years! Ugh. So the build up for this one was pretty high. It delivered.
The Green Inferno is about a group of young activists who decide to save a tribe in the Amazon from a company set on logging thousands of acres of the rainforest, including the land on which the tribe lives, essentially destroying their home and causing mass casualties. Our protagonist, Justine’s (Lorenza Izzo) main reason for joining the activists is because she’s infatuated with the leader of the group, Alejandro (Ariel Levy) and jumps onboard without really knowing what she’s getting into. On their way back from their trip to the Amazon, the plane they’re on crashes into the jungle and they’re left stranded. Little do they know, the tribe that they just saved is sneaking up on them and, unfortunately for them, they’re cannibals.
Eli Roth makes a cautionary tale for all the college students out there that decide to jump on the activism bandwagon without really knowing what they’re getting into. In an interview Roth explained that he has a certain disdain for the people out there that do good deeds simply to look good; the people that want to look like martyrs for their cause to the world but who really don’t care about it at the end of the day. This movie definitely portrays those sentiments and it shows that the people you see promoting causes on social media and condemning you for not taking part may have the most selfish motives. That being said, even though this movie does try to get this message across, it isn’t too heavy handed about it. We can see throughout the movie that there are still people whose intentions are genuinely to help others. Unfortunately, at the end of the day intentions don’t count for all that much when a hungry cannibal is looking to you for their next meal.
Other great elements of this movie are the cinematics, the beautiful scenery and the gore. The juxtaposition of the beautiful scenery and the terrible carnage is really intriguing. Usually gory scenes in movies take place in someone’s basement or a dark abandoned building far from the light, giving a feeling of complete solitude and oppression. This locale is the complete opposite with it’s beautiful, lush vegetation and wide open spaces but the feeling of isolation is almost more palpable because the characters are so far from civilization they may as well be on another planet.
Overall, The Green Inferno perfectly weaves together a story of survival and a visual feast of gore and beautiful locales. It’s also about learning to do the right thing regardless of how it makes you look to others. Finally, it’s about people that you just might be able to relate to, some of whom you care for and some of whom you actually want to see die horribly because they’re just that obnoxious.