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 an homage to Italian cannibal films of the late 1970s and early '80s "cannibal boom", particularly 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 student social-activism group led by Alejandro and his girlfriend Kara. The group plans a trip to the Amazon rainforest to stop a petrochemical company from forest clearing and dispossessing uncontacted native tribes. The goal is to film the forest clearing crews with cell phones and stream footage to raise awareness. Justine suggests she could bring attention to the issue through her father, a United Nations attorney.
The operation is funded by Carlos, a drug dealer who meets the group in Peru. They travel into the Amazon and journey by small boat to reach the construction site. On the way the group spots a black jaguar resting on the side of the river. Carlos tells Justine that the natives believe black jaguars possess evil spirits and are bad omens. They reach the clearing site where they begin their protest, chaining themselves to bulldozers while filming the land clearing. A private militia arrives, and when Justine is nearly killed by an officer, the protest goes viral on the internet. The group is arrested, but Carlos pays the police to release them. It is revealed that Justine's near execution was planned because of her father's influence and the attention it would bring to Alejandro's cause if she were killed. They depart by plane, but the plane's engine explodes and it crashes into the jungle, decapitating one of the pilots and killing several other people, including Carlos.
As the survivors search for a GPS phone, Kara hears something near a bush but when she goes to see what it was, men painted in red emerge from the bush and kill Kara with arrows. The others are tranquilized by blowpipe darts and taken to a small village where they are imprisoned in a bamboo cage. The female elder ritualistically cuts out Jonah's eyes and tongue, and he is then dismembered and decapitated by the tribal leader, with his remains prepared, cooked, and eaten by the tribe. Amy has a sudden bout of diarrhea and is forced to use the corner of their cage, as the tribe's children watch and mock her. Alejandro reveals—to the group's dismay—that the protest was staged to benefit a rival petrochemical company, with Alejandro knowing the protest was pointless but receiving kickbacks to allow him to focus on other activism projects.
Justine, Samantha, and Amy are taken from the cage, and their genitals are probed with a sharp instrument. Justine is revealed to be a virgin and is taken away in preparation for a genital-mutilation ceremony. Samantha and Amy are returned to the cage. While Alejandro counsels the group to stay put and wait for rescue with the arrival of the next petro-company's clearing crews, the rest of the group attempt to escape. During a heavy downpour, the group distracts the watchman, and Samantha escapes and hides in a beached canoe. Justine is returned to the cage with her face and body partially painted.
The prisoners are fed meat. Amy, who is vegan, reluctantly eats, then notices that a chunk of skin in the bowl bears one of Samantha's tattoos. Realizing they were fed Samantha, Amy slashes her own throat and dies. 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 stays, and not wishing to be left alone, tranquilizes Lars to prevent him leaving. As Lars regains consciousness the stoned tribe members, suffering from the munchies, eat him alive.
Justine and Daniel reach the crash site and find a phone, but are recaptured and returned to the village. Justine is painted from head to toe and clad in tribal attire. Daniel is tied to a stake, and the male elder breaks Daniel's limbs, smears him in paste, and leaves him to be devoured by ants. News of arrival of the forest clearing crew sends the cannibals into battle fury, and the warriors stream into the jungle, allowing Justine to escape with the help of a sympathetic child. Daniel begs for Justine to kill him, but she refuses so the child does it, putting him to sleep before slitting his throat. Alejandro begs Justine for help, but she abandons him and flees. A single old man and child chase Justine, but they abandon pursuit when she crosses a river guarded by a black jaguar. Justine then encounters the militia fighting a one-sided battle against the tribal warriors. She convinces the original private security officer that she is an American, and the battle is halted and she is flown to safety.
In a taped interview in New York, Justine tells her father and other government workers that she was the sole survivor of the plane crash, and the natives were friendly. Ostensibly to ensure the activists had not died in vain, she claims that the natives were innocents who had helped her before being slaughtered by the petro-company militia. Sometime later, Justine once more hears protests outside her window, and sees a group of activists wearing shirts emblazoned with Alejandro's face in the style of Che Guevara.
In a mid-credits scene, Alejandro's sister Lucia phones Justine and says she has seen Alejandro in a satellite photo. The photo appears to show Alejandro covered in the dark tribal paint of the village elder.
- Lorenza Izzo as Justine
- Ariel Levy as Alejandro
- Daryl Sabara as Lars
- Kirby Bliss Blanton as Amy
- Magda Apanowicz as Samantha
- Sky Ferreira as Kaycee
- Nicolás Martínez as Daniel
- Aaron Burns as Jonah
- Ignacia Allamand as Kara
- Ramón Llao as The Bald Headhunter
- Richard Burgi as Charles
- Matías López as Carlos Lincones
- Antonieta Pari as The Village Elder
- Percy Chumbe as Militia Leader
- 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 mixed 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 37%, based on 94 reviews, with an average rating of 4.73/10. 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 "B-" 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." Meredith Borders of Birth. Movies. Death., 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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