R Dir: Eli Roth | Universal | 1h 41min
Plot: What’s it about?
Having never been the biggest fan of Eli Roth’s work, I think I’m starting to turn that around with his most recent efforts. Between this film and the recent Knock Knock, I am rather anxious to see what he does next. The Green Inferno features a group of student activists traveling to the rain forest in an effort to try and save it. They soon realize what’s in store for them. While I felt Cabin Fever tried to be too many things and ultimately fails, Inferno succeeds in keeping things relatively simple. Clearly inspired by the cannibal films of the 70’s, Roth has made a solid flick here.
Our lead character is Justine (Lorenza Izzo), a college freshmen who joins an activism class. The leader of the group is Alejandro (Ariel Levy), he attracts Justine’s attention, but his motives may be a bit murky at best. She begins chatting with some of the others, and it’s not long until they’re on a flight to the rainforest. The goal is to live stream footage of a logging company attempting to destroy the rainforest. They pretend to be a part of the logging company and eventually chain themselves to trees to prevent anything from happening. It’s explained to the company that Justine’s father is an attorney for the United Nations. It’s at this point that she realizes she was just a pawn. Still, they’re successful in their attempt and hop back on the plane to come home. Then, the plane crashes and they soon realize they’re prey to the cannibals that inhibit the area.
The film isn’t for the faint of heart as we see many graphic scenes of limbs being torn off, humans getting consumed, often in great detail. With that being said, the film can be quite a ride. Like Knock Knock, the film is never particularly frightening (though there are some intense moments), but more entertaining. It’s also darkly comical in a few scenes. There’s an early scene where a character still in shock from the crash, runs right into the propeller. There’s another amusing moment when some of the cannibals get high and end up with the munchies. Roth knows not to take the film too seriously. Don’t expect a ton in terms of character development, but we get to know enough of the central characters that we at least care about them to some extent. The film moves at a nice pace as well. Thankfully, it doesn’t become a message movie drowning in politics, either. There’s a bit of a surprise ending, but it happens into the end credits. It’s well worth sticking around for. The film earns my recommendation, but those with a weak stomach might want to steer clear.
Video: How’s it look?
Do you like the color red? I mean really like it? Good. You’ll see plenty of it. Having said that, the 2.40:1 AVC HD image is anything and everything we’ve come to expect from Universal on a new to Blu-ray film. The dense forests look amazing, detail is off the charts and though I caught some softness in a few scenes and a few were a bit overexposed, that’s me being nit picky. Then again, that’s what I do. Flesh tones, for lack of a better word, appear to be as normal as they can be (when not covered in blood) and fans should really dig the way this looks.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is full of…stuff. Jungle noises, screaming and some things that I’d not really assigned to a person, place or thing. Did I mention screaming? Yeah, there’s that. Sarcasm aside, the channels are full of life and it really does give the viewer a nice immersion into the film. Surrounds are used to full effect, though the front stage has its way with the lion’s share of the audio. A nice presentation for sure, but nothing totally memorable.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Audio Commentary – Writer/Producer/Director Eli Roth is front and center here with his producer and some stars from the film. It’s a good lively (ya like that?) track that’s full of information and well worth a listen. I’m sure fans of Roth’s will eat this commentary up as he usually delivers the goods.
- Photo Gallery – Some still from the film can be played automatically or manually advanced.
The Bottom Line
With this film and the recent Knock Knock, Eli Roth is two for two in my book. While certainly gross, the film had me and is quite a bit of fun if you have an idea of what to expect. It has me eager to see what Eli Roth decides to do next. Whether you purchase or rent it, The Green Inferno earns my recommendation.