To be honest I avoided the UK Premiere of The Green Inferno (Friday 20 June 2014) as I wasn’t sure I could stomach it nor did I want it to be the last thing I saw right before I went to bed. I could only imagine having cannibalistic nightmares. However after the funny yet insightful Q and A with the Director Eli Roth, I decided maybe it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
The second screening at the Edinburgh International Film Festival was on a Sunday afternoon (22 June 2014), I wasn’t seated close to the exit which meant if I was going be sick I wasn’t going make it that far.
If you don’t know by now The Green Inferno is about a bunch of students who fly out to Peru to save a tribe and their home from the brink of potential extinction for the oil under the ground. Little did they know that the place they end up in after an accident is a tribe of cannibals.
The film begins with a sweeping aerial shot of a lush green rainforest, it’s a beautiful back drop to start a film and in stark contrast to the cannibalistic storyline of the film. Even as the film began i was preparing myself for a bucket-load of bloody gore and torture. I think it’s more to do with what I expect to happen having seen the previous films by Eli.
It starts of like Hostel, it lulls you into a sense of normality by introducing the characters in their everyday lives. I remember watching Hostel thinking what is everyone talking about, this isn’t that bad and boy was I in for a shock. I think the biggest shock for me in Hostel was that these teenagers where being tortured by other people. I guess it’s hard to imagine that another person could be sadistic enough or have the mind-set to be able to make another person suffer so horribly.
The group of University students in The Green Inferno are just like the teenagers in Hostel. They just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time or so they thought. In Hostel they are reeled in like a mouse to cheese as they think they are getting lucky with the ladies, only to be tortured to death by a group of rich people with an itch to scratch. In The Green Inferno they are led to believe they are saving a tribe from becoming extinct only to be used as a publicity stunt that goes horribly wrong.
Is it morally wrong that I and probably the majority of the audience who watched it was secretly whooping and cheering when Justine (Lorenza Izzo) left Alejandro to die? I agree that he was a bastard who deserved to die after what he did but the horrible truth is that it’s down to the human instinct to survive. It’s like all the end of days scenarios they tell again and again with all the Zombie and apocalyptic films. When it comes down to it, it’s survival of the fittest. Then again, it probably means you will die faster or a horrible slow death since you didn’t give a shit about others so why should they give a shit about you?
I actually thought The Green Inferno was tame in terms of blood, gore and torture in comparison to his other films. I don’t know if it’s because he may have toned it down with this movie or I have just become desensitised to the violence in this film. I grew up watching horror movies since it was the only genre of films my father would rent from the local video store. Yep, kids these days are no longer sheltered from the truth. I can only imagine what the next generation will be like. The mind of Eli Roth is probably a magical playground compared to the future generation.
The Green Inferno had its World Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival on 20th June 2014. The film is scheduled for release in September 2015 in the USA, a date has yet to be confirmed for a UK release date.