The Green Inferno (film)
|The Green Inferno|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Eli Roth|
|Story by||Eli Roth|
|Music by||Manuel Riveiro|
|Edited by||Ernesto Díaz Espinoza|
|Box office||$12.9 million|
The Green Inferno is a 2013 American cannibal horror film directed by Eli Roth. The film was inspired by and is a homage to Italian cannibal films of the late 1970s and early '80s "cannibal boom", including Cannibal Holocaust (1980), which features a film-within-a-film titled The Green Inferno. The film follows a group of activists who are forced to fight for survival when they are captured by a cannibalistic tribe.
Justine, a college freshman, becomes interested in a social activism group led by Alejandro and his girlfriend Kara. The group plans a trip to the Amazon rainforest to stop a company from logging and obliterating ancient native tribes there; the goal is to film the logging crews with cell phones and stream footage to raise awareness. Justine suggests she could bring attention to the issue through her father, an attorney for the United Nations.
The operation is funded by a drug dealer named Carlos, who takes the group of students to Peru via plane. They arrive in the Amazon and head to a logging site where they begin their protest, chaining themselves to bulldozers while filming the loggers cutting down trees. A private militia arrives, and the protest receives viral attention on the internet when Justine is nearly killed by one of the militia officers. The group is arrested, but Carlos pays the police to let them go. As the plane leaves, it crashes into the forest, killing Carlos.
Justine, Alejandro, Kara, and protest members Jonah, Lars, Amy, Samantha, and Daniel survive and search for a GPS phone to call for help. Suddenly, numerous young men painted in red come out of the bushes and kill Kara. The rest of the group are tranquilized and taken to a small village where they are imprisoned in a bamboo cage. The female elder of the cannibal tribe ritualistically dismembers, beheads, and eats Jonah. Samantha attempts to escape, but she is tranquilized and the group finds out that they are being watched. Alejandro reveals – to everyone else's dismay – that he had cynically staged the protest to benefit a rival company, and the eventual deforestation of the area is inevitable.
The next morning, the tribe's male leader in black and yellow paint orders Justine, Samantha, and Amy out of the cage. The girls are tested with a sharpened instrument, and Justine is revealed to be a virgin. She is taken away, and prepared for a genital mutilation ceremony. When Samantha and Amy are brought back to the cage, they distract the watchman with a ringing cell phone and Samantha escapes. The next day, Justine is returned with paint marks on her, and the tribe brings the prisoners meat. The group decide that they’ll have to eat the meal for energy to escape Amy explains that she’s a vegetarian but still eats it anyway. After Amy finishes her meat, she looks in her bowl and sees blood she then looks up at the tribe kids realizing that the meat came from Samantha, who failed to escape and was recaptured and dismembered. She shatters her bowl and uses a shard to cut her own throat. Lars stuffs marijuana down Amy's throat, hoping to get the tribe high when they cook her. His plan works, and Justine and Daniel escape, but Alejandro tranquilizes Lars and both are left behind. Lars is caught by two tribe members. He wakes up and the two tribe members bite his arms. He escapes but is surrounded by several more members of the tribe and is eaten alive.
Justine and Daniel return to the site of the plane crash and find a phone in Kara's pocket, but are recaptured by the tribe shortly after. Justine is prepared for her ceremony where she is put in tribal attire and painted white, a wooden tiara on her head, and red across her eyes. Daniel is tied to a pole, his limbs broken, and is fed to ants. Logging machinery attracts the cannibals to the jungle. The distraction allows Justine to escape with the help of a child sympathizer. Daniel begs for Justine to kill him and the child sympathizer blows a white powder into Daniel's face, knocking him out before slitting his throat. Alejandro is abandoned by Justine in the cage.
Two tribe members chase her down, but lose her when she crosses a river with a black jaguar on the other side of it. However, the big cat doesn't harm her and she runs into the jungle. Justine encounters the same private militia that had captured her earlier as they slaughter the native warriors and the male tribal leader is killed. Justine uses Kara's phone to pretend to prove that she is not one of tribe people, stopping the militia from firing on the remaining native warriors. Justine is taken home to safety.
In New York, Justine lies to her father, telling him that she was the only survivor of the crash and that the tribe was friendly to her.
In a mid-credits scene, Alejandro's sister Lucia tells Justine during a phone call that she has found him on a satellite GPS image, showing a surviving Alejandro painted black like the Natives.
- Lorenza Izzo as Justine
- Ariel Levy as Alejandro
- Nicolás Martínez as Daniel
- Daryl Sabara as Lars
- Kirby Bliss Blanton as Amy
- Magda Apanowicz as Samantha
- Aaron Burns as Jonah
- Ignacia Allamand as Kara
- Sky Ferreira as Kaycee
- Ramón Llao as The Bald Headhunter
- Richard Burgi as Charles
- Matías López as Carlos Lincones
- Antonieta Pari as The Elder
- Paz Bascuñán as Lucia (voice)
On May 17, 2012, at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Eli Roth announced that he was planning to direct a horror thriller, The Green Inferno, with Worldview Entertainment stating that it would finance and produce the film. Roth wrote the script with Guillermo Amoedo. Production began in Autumn 2012 in Peru and Chile. In October 2012, it was announced that filming was set to begin in November in Peru. On October 25, Roth announced the full cast for the film. Principal photography began in October 2012 in New York City, and shooting in Peru and in some locations in Chile began on November 5, 2012.
Roth said in an interview in February 2013 that he wanted the film to look like a Werner Herzog or Terrence Malick film. He has also said that he was inspired by such Italian cannibal films as Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox.
On July 30, 2013, it was announced that The Green Inferno would premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was intended to be released theatrically on September 5, 2014, by Open Road Films. However, financial difficulties with the production company Worldview Entertainment caused Open Road to pull it from its original release. The film had a secret screening on April 25, 2014, at the Stanley Film Festival.
The Green Inferno was eventually theatrically released in the United States on September 25, 2015, by Blumhouse Productions' multi-platform arm BH Tilt, Universal Pictures, and High Top Releasing. It was released in Filipino theaters on September 23, 2015 by Solar Pictures. Two versions of the film were presented there, depending on the cinema chain: an R-13 "sanitized" version with some gory details removed, resulting in five minutes of footage edited out, and the uncut R-18 version.
The film opened to 1,540 venues, earning $3.5 million in its opening weekend, ranking ninth place in the domestic box office. At the end of its run, six weeks later on November 5, the film grossed $7.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $5.7 million overseas for a worldwide total of $12.9 million.
The Green Inferno received generally negative reviews from critics; however, some praised the film's throwback vibe to earlier Italian cannibal horror films of the 1970s and its social commentary. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 33%, based on 85 reviews, with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Green Inferno may not win writer-director Eli Roth many new converts, but fans of his flair for gory spectacle should find it a suitably gruesome diversion." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 38 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". CinemaScore audiences gave the film an average grade of "C-" on an A+ to F scale.
The film received a glowing response from horror novelist Stephen King, who tweeted that the film is "like a glorious throwback to the drive-in movies of my youth: bloody, gripping, hard to watch, but you can't look away." Todd Gilchrist of The Wrap gave the film a negative review, stating "Unfortunately, Roth’s abundant gore fails to either offend or exhilarate." Birth. Movies. Death.'s Meredith Borders, reporting from Fantasia Fest, gave the film a more positive notice: "The Green Inferno never lets up: it barrels ahead, exuberant and relentless in its brutality, never giving the audience a second to unclench. It's a feast for gorehounds, one with an unsubtle message about the way that uninformed activism harms more than it helps. And it's a total blast."
The film was criticized by Survival International, which campaigns for indigenous peoples and indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation, as reinforcing colonialism and respectively neocolonialism, as well as their stigmas against indigenous peoples, portraying them as savage. Roth dismissed this argument as unimportant for stopping exploitation: "The idea that a fictional movie about a fictional tribe could somehow hurt indigenous people when gas companies are tearing these villages apart on a daily basis is simply absurd. These companies don't need an excuse—they have one—the natural resources in the ground. They can window dress things however they like, but nobody will destroy a village because they didn't like a character in a movie, they'll do it because they want to get rich by draining what's under the village. The fear that somehow a movie would give them ammunition to destroy a tribe all sounds like misdirected anger and frustration that the corporations are the ones controlling the fates of these uncontacted tribes."
The Green Inferno was released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 5, 2016, by Universal Home Entertainment. The release features a director's cut and an audio commentary by Roth, López, Izzo, Burns, Blanton and Sabara.
On September 7, 2013, it was announced that a sequel would be produced, titled Beyond the Green Inferno and directed by Nicolás López. As of May 2016, there have been no further updates, other than articles referencing the original 2013 announcement and a single unsubstantiated comment, with no production details, that a sequel is still under consideration.
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