Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Overlook Theatre Review's, Eli Roth's: The Green Inferno

of 10 viewers "Liked" "The Green Inferno" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

Math Mage - "Four stars but I actually don't know what to say. I could mention Chekov's everything, or the ambiguous stance on activism, or how the guy in black really liked The Berkeley Blazer's hip bone (one of the students looked a lot like TBB), or the great job of keeping the cannibals human (they eat people but it's just part of their culture). Ghost panthers, the little girl getting pissed at her boyfriend for running off with another woman, terrible CG ants. This movie had a lot of cool stuff, but if it was trying to be about something, I missed it." - 4 Stars (This review was constructed from a series of texts)

The Berkeley Blazer - "As a horror movie Green Inferno works, but Roth also tries to use the film to criticize activism. He has publicly expressed a dislike of "slacktavists" and social media justice warriors. Fare enough, yet the film targets characters actually willing to risk their lives for a cause, and uses a cannibal horror homage as a vehicle for that criticism? It comes across as hypocritical and juvenile. thematic considerations aside, the tribe was actually portrayed in an interesting way. While the feeding scenes were grizzly, one got the sense that this was a coherent culture who just happened to have eating enemies as one of their customs. Ultimately this is a silly movie that is worth watching if you're a horror fan. It's just hard to take Roth's attempts at saying anything of substance very seriously." - 3 Stars

Lord Battle - "It's amazing that we actually get to see a film like The Green Inferno in theaters. It's not a perfect film but then again, it might be. Eli Roth is an auteur and not just in the sense that all his films contain frat boys drinking, air-heads flashing, and everyone smoking. Roth manifests as a dark humor that floats throughout his films and every time you get caught up in the horror and mayhem, Eli winks at you. The Green Inferno not only does the genre proud, it elevates it." - 5 Stars

KillDozer - "Don't you just love when a movie is everything you want it to be?! Eli Roth gives us exactly what we expect, a true and sincere love letter to the cannibal exploitation films of the 70's and 80's. all the bases are covered with plenty of social commentary on war to women's rights. Green Inferno also has that Eli Roth touch that can keep the audience laughing while reminding everyone that as serious as the story gets, or how horrible the torture, that "it's only a move" and that it's okay to have a good time. there was awful and unnecessary CG but it was easily forgivable even though in my opinion it was the worst torture show in screen. Beautiful cinematography and amazing editing, the colors pull you in and the editing often has a way of building anticipation. It is obvious that Eli is very self aware and receives major bonus points for also listing the most noteworthy cannibal i=films in the credits, hopefully inspiring the younger "new horror nerd" to go out and research where this all comes from. I must also note that I witnessed not one but 2 people walk out of the packed theatre in disgust during the first kill, which is a rare urban myth that you rarely get to see." - 5 Stars (Collection worthy and worth the wait)

Huntress - "I would fully support Eli Roth taking on all of the genres that have become either too outdated or ridiculous for mainstream directors, especially after seeing how he was able to bring cannibalism into a modern day light and tie it in with other more relevant topics. After watching The Green Inferno, I believe that he can breath new life into anything, give it an Eli Roth touch of absurd humor (which I saw in one character in particular during this film), and create movies that satisfy people's craving for something different from the same old stuff that big studios put out. The Green Inferno was able to fill a decent sized theatre on a Thursday night, which says a lot. It made my jaw drop during several scenes and I can't wait to own a copy." - 4.5 Stars

Ice Giant - "Waiting for this movie for so long had built up my expectations so high I was worried no movie would be able to live up to it... I'm glad I was wrong, the unknowns Eli Roth got to act in the movie all played their parts excellently and the cinematography was gorgeous. Imagining being one of those people was truly terrifying and the actors portrayed that fear perfectly. I love all of Eli Roth's movies but this one by far stands out as his greatest movie yet." - 5 Stars

The Creature of the ComiCombs - "Green Inferno is a very intense film. I liked the dark humor spread throughout and if you've seen any of Eli Roth's films you'll know what to expect. The situation that these college students found themselves in was terrifying, I was scared for them. The gore is awesome here. The first major kill is brutal and does a great job of giving you a sense of terror that stays with you until the end. There were a few thing that I wasn't too fond of. The use of cg was minimal but in one scene it was not necessary and took away from the rest of the scene. The ending was the biggest problem for me, the final scene could have been cut from the film and it would have worked. That being said, I highly enjoyed this and recommend everyone to check it out." - 4 Stars

B4DK - "Oh damn! A must see and not for the weak stomached. Super ridiculous in a very positive way. I haven't cringed like this in awhile. Absolutely satisfied as I left the theater. Brutal!" - 4 Stars \m/

The Impostor - "By far my favorite Eli Roth film, hands down. Well worth the wait it's been pushed back off and on for about two years. I was worried we would never see this film. Now that it's finally released I had to see it opening night and I felt like I was on a super intense roller coaster. Lead actress Lorenza Izzo did a great job in her role, there were scenes where I felt like I feel her pain and fear through the screen. The cinematography is stunning as well as the creepy location they shot the jungle the cannibals lived. I highly enjoyed this film starts off slow but it builds quite nicely. Gruesome, gory, and intense situations. The Green Inferno exceeds my expectations." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

2015 is no stranger to nostalgia. In fact, we are in a time where nostalgia is celebrated constantly and yet we rarely see a film like The Green Inferno. Eli Roth has not only created a film that properly celebrates what he loves, he's elevated it. When trying to explain the artistry displayed in The Green Inferno I always start with this example: there's a scene that most horror fans hate, it showcases a bunch of CG ants crawling all over one of the male characters. The ants look like they were generated in the late 90's and appear to be doing nothing in the way of harming this man, they merely crawl all over him while he's screaming like a blade is being twisted in his back. Later we return to the character to find they hadn't even killed him. Everyone was bewildered at the thought of purposely leaving the poor CGI in the film. There are a couple other moments that feature a panther that also has a fairly obvious CG-sheen. The panther is important though, because he is explained to be a good omen or perhaps a sign that maybe nature too favors the foolish and drunk.

Now why shoot the film in South America only to have nature represented by poor CGI? I'd say nature isn't represented by its animals, it's represented by its people. When we first arrive in the natives' village we are presented with one of the most beautiful and horrifying scenes in film. The village and its inhabitants lie in between the forest and the river. This creates a beautiful color contrast of deep green from the trees, a mellow blue-green from the river, and a vibrant red from the natives. The blood red tribe moves like an intelligent mist, floating above the ground and driven by a force only the elements could harness. The real wrath of nature is displayed here and jarring CGI won't pull us out of the film and save us this time.

I don't want to speculate too much as to what is homage and what is humor so in closing I'll say this: Roth's homage to one of the most brutal exploitation genres  has managed to paint its subject in a sympathetic light. This is an idea that threads itself though the whole genre, yet this is the first time it's ever truly succeeded. And what might be more impressive is that a large part of the audience may care about the main characters (at least some of them), a feat that seemed impossible and unnecessary by previous standards!

Below I've selected 5 questions from Eli Roths "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit.

1. Are you still in contact with the people of the Amazon that were in your movie? If so do you think they will get to see The Green Inferno?

Roth - "Our producer Gustavo went back there and everyone wants us to make a sequel. I want to do a screening for them, but we'd have to go back and bring a generator and show."

2. Did you have to appeal the rating of The Green Inferno by the MPAA at all? Did it originally get an NC-17?

Roth - "I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to work with the MPAA. Nobody sees it from where I'm sitting but all around the world they hack horror movies to pieces, only in the US do they really try to protect the integrity of the film and work with you. We had many long discussions about The Green Inferno but ultimately I was very happy with where we wound up. There's no director's cut, this is it. Everywhere else in the worldit's a government censorship board and they never protect violent movies because they want to be re-elected. In the US we have the MPAA which is a self-policing body and they're all movie lovers and understand what my audience wants to see. Their job is to help make a movie acceptable for theaters but also to warn parents about what's in it. We may disagree at times but we always have a reasonable discussion about it, not even an appeal. We just get on the phone and talk it out - no one else in the world does that. EVerywhere else they just cut it and say take it or don't release it."

3. What was the most challenging scene you've ever had to film?

Roth - "Inferno was so hard only because we were in this remote village in the amazon. It was 5 hours of travel every day, going in land rovers and then up the river 90 minutes. The day we threw Lorenza Izzo in the river was hard because we found a location that was washed away when we went back to film it. So we found a rock she could cling to but it almost pulled her under and she almost drowned. that sort of thing happened a lot. It was actually really scary."

4. Do you have any crazy stories you can tell us from the set of The Green Inferno?

Roth - "I tried to answer this but it diddn't post so I will try again. The first day of shooting in the village was the big arrival scene. All the kids were tied up in canoes and we had hundreds of villagers painted and ready to kill. And we have heads on sticks and dead bodies all over. And as I yell action two boats full of Missionaries showed up. They were certain that Satan had come to the village and freaked out. Then the villagers said "It's not Satan, Eli Roth is here making a horror film." They were so angry I had beaten them they started disrupting the filming by playing music. The village told them to come back when we were done. It was surreal. I of course tried to film it all but the villagers told me I had to back down, that it was a serious situation so we barely have footage of it."

5. Do you currently have a favorite horror movie?

Roth - "It Follows and Babadook."
Read the whole AMA here.

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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