Tagged United Nations

Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno Chews Up Misguided Social Justice

The Green Inferno. 2015. Directed by Eli Roth. Written by Guillermo Amoedo & Eli Roth.
Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz, Sky Ferreira, Nicolás Martínez, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Ramón Llao, Richard Burgi, Matías López, Antonieta Pari, Eusebio Arenas, Sally Rose, and Paul Norris. Worldview Entertainment/Dragonfly Entertainment/Sobras International Pictures. Rated R. 100 minutes.

59a974d3f370f45574815cb4805e8ac3WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

Finally, I’ve had the chance to see Eli Roth’s long gestating, much awaited cannibal sub-genre horror movie, The Green Inferno. Its roots very much coming out of Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, including the title (the film within a film in the 1980 cult classic), it isn’t all simply a rip-off like some people want to make you believe. Just because the plots are similar, the locations, et cetera, does not mean Roth has ripped anything off. What I see is a lovingly nasty homage, a letter to the brutal films which transformed Roth into the filmmaker he is today, and pound for pound this is one relentless bit of cinema.
Some want to say Roth is lifting all his plots, for all his films, from earlier horror movies. I don’t think so. Much like Tarantino in this respect, I feel Roth merely wants to make fun grindhouse type movies for the new millennium. He likes to show his inspiration, he enjoys making clear his influences. This is not plagiarism, so can that foolishness. People, in this day and age, seem to not understand homage when it’s done correctly. Here, we get Roth’s homage to Deodato with a whole dose of his own sociopolitical commentary much like Cannibal Holocaust had lurking underneath its grim exterior.
green-inferno-nativesIn New York City, Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is a college student immersing herself in classes and extracurricular campus life, or well… sort of, anyways. When one of her professors does a lecture on female circumcision, or better put female genital mutilation, Justine starts to get the social activism bug. Yet her roommate Kaycee (Sky Ferreira) is pretty uninterested and the two of them make fun of the campus Social Justice Warriors. However, after a little bit of time passes Justine finds herself enthralled with the idea of going to the Amazon rainforest in order to stop logging companies from destroying the forest and the tribes located there. A local activist Alejandro (Ariel Levy) and his group plan on going, so Justine tags along with them and plans to use her father – a UN attorney – as a way to draw attention to the cause.
But once the group arrives in the Amazon, things are a little more scary than anticipated. The protests get underway and even become a bit of a sensation on the internet. Then, on their way home, the plane’s engine explodes and they crash back into the Amazon… where the local tribes aren’t exactly welcoming to the people who came to supposedly save them.
The-Green-Inferno 25-green-inferno.w1200.h630Part of what Roth is doing in The Green Inferno, which he has already discussed at length through his AMA and other interviews, is taking on the Social Justice Warrior trend that has really taken off over the last couple years, due in great part to social media. Now, Roth isn’t trying to say we shouldn’t care about social/political issues. What he hates, and what many of us hate, is how so many people who fall into the SJW mentality only do it online, they’re retweeting and favouriting things, all in the name of doing some kind of activism over the internet; slacktivism. He perfectly sets up all the characters from America as these very superficial, naive and foolishly stubborn individuals who are more concerned with what’s happening on the other side of the world than what is going on right at home. This plot and story rings true in this day and age, and I think many of us are thrilled with seeing a few headstrong SJWs get eaten alive.
I found one of the most telling moments about the group’s naivety came early, in a meeting with Alejandro (Ariel Levy) and his activist group after they touch down at their destination, comes when he tells them (holding cellphone in hand): “These are our guns.” It comes off as a great line, inspirational to the other SJWs champing at the bit to get out and try to initiate some good. But in reality, the line expresses how idealistically ridiculous these so-called activists are, to think they’ll be able to infiltrate a logging operation, surrounded with militia, and not need any kind of defense mechanisms other than cameras. Such a good line which expresses so much, so quickly.
Green-Inferno-2-1024x576A few minutes past the half-hour mark, when the activists chain themselves to the trees and stand in protest together, Justine is thrown under the bus by Alejandro’s amour, Kara (Ignacia Allamand); she gives Justine a faulty lock, preventing her from being chained across the tree and secured. One of the militia is about to shoot her, however, Alejandro screams about her father being with the United Nations – AMAZINGLY TENSE SCENE! I can’t even describe those few moments, you actually fear for Justine even though she’s the main character. This is also the beginning of all the savagery and madness, from here we move back into the jungle and begin our descent into the darkness of humanity has officially gotten underway.
When the plane crashes, Roth moves the film into pretty nasty territory. The pilot gets his head ripped off by a log flying through the plane’s window, Carlos (Matías López) is impaled, a few of the group are ripped from the plane. Even one of them has their head grossly sliced by one of the still moving airplane propellors. Full on CARNAGE! Kara gets her just desserts, when an arrow blows through her neck, and then another puts her out of her misery through the middle of the forehead. It’s just outright mayhem for about five minutes until the activists are brought back to the tribal village. Nice little bits of gore up to this point, brief and momentary, but awesome; all courtesy of the incredible KNB team led by masters Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger. You’ll only fall further headlong into their disgustingly awesome effects work as the film goes on.
Things really get rocking when poor Jonah (Aaron Burns) is given a drink by the tribe before being placed on a sacrificial rock – one of the tribesman (Ramón Llao) and The Edler (Antonieta Pari) quarter him up, first the eyes and then the tongue, then all the limbs. This is one of the most devastating sequences Eli Roth has yet to produce. Especially the scene afterwards, with a bunch of village women preparing and curing his body before they put it in a nice jungle oven to cook it nicely. I mean, what a brutish few moments! An undeniably scary bit of horror cinema, full of gore and shock and awe.
Screen-Shot-2014-08-21-at-1.21.06-PM-620x400I’ve already spoiled a few of these pieces, so mostly I’d like to reiterate some of the earlier points I made. Above all else, Roth’s Green Inferno makes the huge statement he means to: good intentions aside, the Social Justice Warriors blindly aiming to be activists not only do themselves a disservice, they’re doing a disservice to the issues they’re trying so idiotically to champion. Case and point comes in the film once Alejandro makes a dramatic revelation, albeit after the group are all caged in the village; we finally realize how some of these SJWs – again, these are the ones not doing real justice but merely doing it for the ‘look of being righteous’ – only do what they do in order to appear as if they’re activists, they don’t truly care much other than for personal gain. So, while many want to take Roth’s horror movie as simply a bunch of gore, body parts and nasty murder, which there is PLENTY OF, I do believe there’s a definitive and clear point beneath it all which is made. It’s not even as heavy handed as you think because Justine, and a couple of the others, certainly don’t fall in the same SJW category as Alejandro, for instance. But Roth easily makes his case and makes it well with an interesting, well-written screenplay (co-written with Guillermo Amoedo), alongside a solid helping of blood and gore.
Just a note: the last few scenes, Justine and her decisions, will put across the point of SJWs – she decides to do something selfless, all in the name of going against the stupidity of their activism which brought them into a world they did not understand, nor will they ever understand either. Then, there’s a bitch of a turnaround in the final shot before the credits, plus a SECOND ONE in between halves of the credits. Great stuff to add in, which really puts forth a few of Roth’s intentions even better and further than he’d already done throughout the film.
mv5bodmzndiwntm3of5bml5banbnxkftztgwodu4ota4nje-_v1__sx1234_sy636_A spot on homage to Cannibal Holocaust without lifting the screenplay, the plot as a whole, The Green Inferno is one of Eli Roth’s most brutal and simultaneously interesting films of the past few years. An absolute 4 out of 5 star horror movie, to me. I’m a fan of the cannibal sun-genre in horror, especially the classics like Deodato’s aforementioned grandfather of found footage and other wildness like Cannibal Ferox directed by cannibal forefather Umberto Lenzi. However, where some of those films lack in plot/story due to their insistence on explicitly showing tons of gore, simply for the sake of it, Roth excels with The Green Inferno because – despite all the bloodiness – beneath that exists commentary. Aiming this cannibal horror film at the Social Justice Warriors perverting the name of activism, Roth is able to break through from this being another shocking gorefest to achieving a bit of greatness.
1814116f9a7b44d6af79ba9cff76b981Others would have you see this as only a bunch of blood and body parts and cannibals. Me? I can see where Roth was going and I think, in a day of social media gone awry, there’s a message at the heart of The Green Inferno. If you choose to only see the gore, that’s fine, but if you can’t “make it through”, then don’t judge this film solely on the fact it contains lots of nasty, bloody effects because that’s not the main focus. Don’t let the unrelenting horror guide your opinion, look at what Roth is saying and try to understand his intentions; if you can manage to do so, this shocker may hold more than a few grossouts for you and despite any apprehension, you may just have a bit of fun. This is destined to fall in line with the great movies in the cannibal horror sub-genre, mark my words. I hope Eli Roth continues to do this sort of work because horror needs a nasty bastard like him to keep us all honest.