Friday, September 25, 2015

The Green Inferno

3/4

Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Nicolas Martinez, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Magda Apanowicz, Richard Burgi

Rated R for Aberrent Violence and Torture, Grisly Disturbing Images, Brief Graphic Nudity, Sexual Content, Language and Some Drug Use

The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

"The Green Inferno" is probably the most violent horror movie I have ever seen in a movie theater.  Check that, it's the most violent movie period that I have ever seen in a movie theater.  It is bloody.  It is shocking.  And it will turn off many people who watch it.  However, it is intense and scary, and since that is what horror movies are supposed to do, I'm giving the film a recommendation.

Justine (Izzo) is an aimless college student at an unnamed university (judging by the setting, I'm guessing NYU or Columbia).  She blithely scoffs at the activist students protesting for the janitors on campus (director Eli Roth has some fun at the expense of these types of people) until she hears about female genital mutilation in one of her classes.  That spurs her into telling her father (Burgi), who works at the UN, to do something about it, but he tells her that things aren't that simple.  She joins a local activist group led by the sexy foreigner, Alejandro (Levy), who has a plan to save a tribe in the Amazon from deforestation.  Justine tags along with the others, and while their initial protest is a success, it's there that their trip takes an ugly turn.

For a horror movie, "The Green Inferno" boasts some nice performances.  Nothing extraordinary, but the actors get us on their side (or against them, in some cases), which is all that is necessary.  Lorenza Izzo has both hallmarks of an effective horror movie heroine: she's attractive and has a great scream.  She's also a capable performer, easily getting us to sympathize with her even when she's forced to utter cheesy dialogue.  Ariel Levy gets us to despise his character to no end.  Motivated almost entirely by self-interest, he is willing to play chicken with people's lives to suit his own ends...and that's just start.  The rest of the cast, including post-"Spy Kids" Daryl Sabara (as the obligatory stoner), acquit themselves well.

When I say that "The Green Inferno" is the most violent movie I've seen in a movie theater, I'm not exaggerating.  This is a bloody, brutal film that will floor even the most hardened viewer.  Take my word for it: do not, under any circumstances, take the kids to see this movie.  You will have to spend much of your salary on shrinks if you do.

How violent is it?  Read no further if you have a weak stomach.  People are drawn and quartered while still alive, there's plenty of cannibalism, and we see female genital mutilation in the flesh.  It's all very explicit, but the latter shows everything but inside the "midlands," as another movie called it.  That the MPPA did not require any cuts to avoid the NC-17 rating is nothing short of astonishing.  By comparison "Frontier(s)," another ultra-violent horror movie that did receive the adults-only rating, is in preschool.

It's not a perfect movie by any means.  The opening act is too long (it takes about 45 minutes to arrive at the village) and has plenty of clunky dialogue.  The humor, what little of which there is, appears to be unintentional (then again, it's hard to believe that Roth could have intended the diarrhea scene to be taken seriously).  Nevertheless, the film is effective.

I want to reiterate: this is for hard-core horror fans only.  Those with weak stomachs will find themselves fleeing for the exit by the halfway mark.  I don't want any angry complaints for those who do not take heed.

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