The film wears it’s gore happily on its sleeve
Be careful, the jungle is a dangerous placeWhen a group of eco-warriors (read college student activists) on route home from disrupting a planned deforestation and tribal extermination crash land in the jungle, the natives, thinking they are part of the industrialists, trap them and begin to torture and eat their captives.
This easy, one line synopsis, neatly sums up all the events in Eli Roth’s latest escapade into ‘Torture Porn’, the languished-in-distribution-hell: The Green Inferno, the director’s homage to the cannibal sub-genre of horror movies that proliferated in the early 80’s. And in essence that is exactly what he has delivered; a film that would have sat quite happily in the 80’s, been banned as a ‘Video Nasty’ gained huge notoriety because of it, and thus sought after by hungry-for-horror teens, only to be disappointed at the eventual outcome of the film.Inferno is very simple; despite all the socio-political spoutings peppered throughout, the film wears it’s gore happily on its sleeve; it’s a cannibal film and includes all the tropes of the genre, and even has time for a few laughs (even if a few are unintentional – gotta love the arrow in the head!). And, I guess, that is the biggest flaw with the piece; yes it delivers on what it promises – but that is all it does. There is nothing new in the mix, so the film is very, very predictable; set the dominoes up and watch them get chewed up as they fall. The protagonist is going to be tested, but get away, the ‘evil-guy’ is going to get his comeuppance and everyone else is just cannon fodder. The setup is groan inducing, the jeopardy obvious, but at least the pay-off is suitably gloopy. But you end up wanting to see more carnage rather than rooting for their escape as there is no emotional investment into anyone. In the end, you know what you are going to get; if that’s your bag, so be it.
Picture QualityThe disc presents a theatrically correct widescreen 2.35:1 1080p transfer using the AVC codec and is Region locked to B.
Filmed on two types of digital movie camera the picture is, for the most part, clean bright and detailed; skin texture and clothing weaves stand out, as does the foliage of the jungle (leaves, bark, ground vegetation). The body paint applied to the natives, and that of their victims holds tight edges. Both fore and background maintain decent sharpness, mostly, with only the occasional bout of softness creeping in. The difference between the cameras can be picked up by the subtle depth changes and occasional colour grading issue.
Red is suitably gloopy for the blood and dismemberment
Colour itself is nicely vivid and bold, particularly true for greens, which are lush and show off the jungle to a tee. Red is suitably gloopy for the blood and dismemberment, while blues are clean and bright. Brightness and contrast are very good with strong blacks adding some depth to the picture. Shadow detail is somewhat limited but used well when needed. Digitally there are no compression issues or any edge enhancement. The original source is in pristine condition.
Sound QualityI went with the English 5.1 DTS-HD MA surround track. A suitably wide and organic sounding mix that makes the best use of the surrounds to add to the ambience of the scenes’, be they lecture halls, city streets, light aircraft or jungle; there is always something for the surround speakers to attend too, adding to a realistic sound environment. Dialogue is clear, precise, natural sounding and dominated by the frontal array, the surrounds only pick up during crowd scenes. The score makes good use of the surround speakers placing you in the centre for the action. Bass is resounding and deep, although not as deep as reference, but adds plenty to the natural sound and much to the effects. The drum beating score gets a ‘kick’ out of the bass. The mix is well layered and nothing goes missing in the mayhem and this is evident when the captives first enter the village; there is plenty going on from crowd noises, screaming, footfalls, rivers etc.; all have their place within the mix and it's terrific stuff. Was it slightly over the top with the eating noises? Probably.
ExtrasAudio Commentary – With director/producer/writer Eli Roth, producer Nicolas Lopez and stars Lorenza Izzo, Arron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton and Daryl Sabara, is quite a lively affair with plenty of chat, few gaps and much over talking. Roth, understandably takes the lead, steering the conversation along the production path, but everyone chips in with anecdotes and information about the shoot, cast members, locations etc. Lively but informative.
VerdictThe Green Inferno is horror director Eli Roth’s nod to 80’s cannibal films; it is a stripped to the bone, no fuss, chop ‘em up and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else, despite the often heavy handed socio-political messages sewn in throughout. And on that level it is a triumph. However, that is all it is, this is nothing more than an excuse to throw gore at the screen in a cheap exploitation flick; and in an overcrowded ‘torture porn’ film line, this one does nothing to stand out – dare I say it, it’s actually quite boring as it adds nothing new to the mix and is very, very predictable.
it is a stripped to the bone, no fuss, chop ‘em up
As a Blu-ray package, the set from EiV is ok, the picture is clean, bright, well detailed with good black levels and the sound creates a good surround environment with the DTS-HD MA track, and is very well layered with strong bass; but the whole thing is let down by having just one extra, the audio commentary, which while lively doesn’t make up for this obvious omission and doesn’t add much to a film that, let’s face it, will have limited appeal.
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