Film review: The Green Inferno pays hammy homage to '80s video nasties
Light on horror and not even very gory, this weak attempt at horror looks like it was filmed for National Geographic
The second film by Eli Roth to open in Hong Kong this week, The Green Inferno is at least more competently made than Knock Knock. But this weak splatter movie, which steals from the 1980 video nasty Cannibal Holocaust, isn’t half scary enough. Even fans of cinematic gore will be disappointed by the hammy attempts at blood and guts.
The story sounds grosser than it is. College student Justine (Lorenza Izzo) signs up on a misguided activist trip to stop the destruction of a remote village in the Peruvian jungle by timber loggers. When the trip goes wrong, she and her fellow activists find themselves imprisoned by the very tribe they set out to save. Some of her friends are eaten, while Justine is kept alive to undergo a female circumcision ceremony.
The Green Inferno is light on horror and not even particularly gory – fake dangly eyeballs and dancing witch doctors aren’t going to scare modern audiences. Roth has a nice eye for composition, but he can’t squeeze any frightening moments out in the editing. Each time the viewer gears up for a big shock, the anticipation is squandered by a weak cut.
A bit of loony mysticism, à la Alejandro Jodorowsky, would have helped, but Roth plays it like he’s directing for National Geographic. The scenes of cannibals dancing around with bones in their noses look decidedly retro, and the whole shebang plays like a homage to a past genre which doesn’t deserve one.
The Green Inferno opens on November 12