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With Jim Sabatini

The Green Inferno

The Green Inferno
Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burna, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz and Sky Ferreira

Rated: R for aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: September 25, 2015 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

Who is to say cannibalism is wrong, is the statement that permeates the discussion of this film by its director, Eli Roth.  

A group of idealist who are young college students are recruited from their college campus in New York to travel to Peru to save the forest.  The main focus is on Lorenza Izzo who plays Justine, she is impressed by the group who is protesting outside her dorm at 9:30 AM on a Sunday.  Awaken by the groups activities she begins to learn more and more of their dedication.  Early on we are exposed to scenes of genital mutilation of young women in various primitive tribes, and initially we might expect that to be the darkest group of scenes in the film, but there is far more dark, ugly, sick torture, dismemberment and cannibalism yet to come.  The only smart character in the film is Kaycee (Sky Ferreira) who decides to stay at school.

The screen is filled with ariel views of Amazon jungle and rivers as the team approaches its destination and the land with high canopies is filled beauty. Nature is not the enemy in this poorly performed and filmed  production.  Even the horror as we see the terror faced by the captured group is so badly presented that we begin to laugh where we should be horrified or screaming.  Roth does produce an interesting plane crash scene but from there on it's all about lunch for the red hued natives who capture the young invaders.  The natives who play the tribe are just farmers from a deep Amazon village who have been hired on.  They must have wondered what kind of life these North Americans live as they participated in the process of preparing their human meals.  As we watch the dicing and salting and chopping of the food we can help think of Anthony Bourdain's TV program where he samples various unusual meals which are repulsive to some of his viewers. 

Roth attempts to insert fright and action by using a hand held camera and waving them around a scenes filled with victims and natives so rapidly that we do not know what is happening except for the loud noise which fills the powerful sound systems in the cinema.  Noise is frightening and when we hear women screaming and painted faces of what are presented at a lost Peruvian Tribe we should react in horror, but we can't see enough to care. 

The film was originally released in November of 2013 at a New York premiere it has been released in other countries from time to time but obviously has been siting on the shelf.  How it got a wide release even in the dead film time of September is difficult to understand. It is too ugly to be interesting and lacks the horror juice to scare the hell out of us. It is a film that is designed to be filled with horror and terror, that just doesn't have the power or emotion to make us care enough to reach its goal.  

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Green Inferno  D      C   C                  C- 

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