We are officially in horror mode! Everywhere you turn on the internet, there is something about horror and fright. Along with the wondrous festivities, come great scary movies, some good, other not so great. Eli Roth accidentally has two movies out at the moment that could be classified as horror pieces. Knock Knock I’ve yet to see. The Green Inferno I’ve had the chance to check out, and if it’s going to be labeled anything, it should be labeled as innovative.
Yes, the film has it’s faults, like the uncertainty of the message it’s trying to proclaim. Does the film support activism, or does it condemn it? What about the depiction of the indigenous tribe? Does it present them as victims or as the villains? Eli Roth has claimed that Cannibal Holocaust was the source of inspiration for this film, considering that was the film that motivated him to go down the track of film-making. So immediately, we know that there is going to be some kind of human mutilation involved here, so clearly this film is not an easy film to watch, it’s more shocking than scary, more sickening than entertaining. So why do we watch these films?
Every so often, there are films that prove to be innovative. Films that do things that have never been done before. The innovation doesn’t only stem from what is presented in the final project, but rather in the process of how it was achieved. I don’t know if Eli Roth got lucky or what, but his innovation came from where and with whom this film was made. The team actually went into the Peruvian jungle and filmed on location. In addition to this risky move, the villagers presented in the movie, are giving the most raw performances. You see, they are people who never knew what a movie was before Eli Roth showed up on there front step.
To explain the process of making a movie, Roth showed them Cannibal Holocaust, and interestingly the villagers thought that the film was a comedy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Once they agreed to be part of the production, the real innovation started. Imagine directing a group of untrained extras, who have only seen one movie, ever! When you watch The Green Inferno, there is a strong sense of authenticity, when it comes to the villagers. Although there are no longer any cannibal tribes in South America, we get the sense that to some extent these villagers weren’t always acting. The kids in the village even came up with the idea to dangle live pythons in front of the Hollywood actors, fortunately no one was bitten!
At first glance, The Green Inferno comes across as another poor excuse for a gore filled movie. But when you look closer at the commitment and passion given to this project, not only by Eli Roth but by the entire crew and village extras, there is clear innovation here, and as such it is and will be a celebrated film. Fingers crossed this film does stir emotions of fear or anger and maybe even a little awe. Nice one Eli Roth!
TRIVIA COOKIE: This film was ready for release back in 2013, but due to some distribution and finance issues, we’re only seeing it now, that’s why we have two Eli Roth features.