Contemporary horror master Eli Roth is back in the director’s chair, after 7 years of not directing a feature film. After releasing Hostel: Part II in 2007, Roth directed the short film within a film Nation’s Pride for Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, he wrote two rather disappointing films (Aftershock and The Man with the Iron Fists), he tried acting again (please, don’t) and of course he’s been super busy slapping his awesome name on every new horror film, I’m sorry, I mean he’s been doing a lot of producing.
The Green Inferno marks a much anticipated return to directing for Roth and certainly fans hope that it’s better than his other projects these days (although he’s a solid producer). The first trailer for his new film looks good, as you would expect from an Eli Roth film. It’s not too polished, but it’s also not as raw as the source of his inspiration: Ruggero Deodato’s exploitation film Cannibal Holocaust (1980). Eli Roth fans will be more than happy to see him take a stab at a cannibal film, but I have to be cautiously optimistic here.
If you’d asked me a couple years ago how I’d feel about this project, it would have probably been my most anticipated film of the year. Since then a lot of things have changed. I’m not into horror/exploitation as much as I used to be and Eli Roth has been part of some rather embarrassing misfires, which are though to defend, even as a fan of him as a director and a person. Unfortunately, The Green Inferno was co-written with Guillermo Amoedo and Nicolás López. Yep, that’s the same guys who did Aftershock.
While I hope that The Green Inferno will be terrifying and scary like Roth’s early work, it really seems like those guys are holding him down and his work just doesn’t seem to have the same energy and poignancy as it did before. Aftershock was surprisingly tame both in terms of sex and violence, the humor was bad as well. Like I said though, this trailer does look okay and I still have faith in Eli as an auteur and more than anything I really hope that his genuine love for Italian horror conquers all. I’m definitely giving this one a chance, are you?