THE GREEN INFERNO – Review by Susan Granger

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More than any other genre, the success of a horror movie depends on its effect on the audience. How does it manipulate emotions to scare you, utilizing color, sound, dialogue, editing, music and make-up? Does it use psychology or rely on a series of brutalities for shock value? The best horror films – like Alfred Hitchcock’s ”Psycho” – are those that rely more on suggestion than graphic bloodshed. Read on…

Director of the first two “Hostel” movies, Eli Roth opts for violent carnage, inspired by Italian director Ruggero Deodato’s grim “Cannibal Holocaust” (1980), in which ‘found footage’ of a documentary film crew reveals what occurred in the Amazonian jungle, concluding with the memorable line: “I wonder who the real cannibals are.”

Roth’s updated, politically incorrect version begins on a New York college campus, where Alejandro (Ariel Levy) stages a hunger strike for underpaid janitors. His interest then turns to saving the Amazon rain forest from exploitation by developers’ bulldozers.

Despite the skepticism of her roommate (singer Sky Ferreira), naïve Justine (Lorenza Izzo, Roth’s real-life wife) joins Alejandro and other clueless students on a mission, over the objections of her father, a human rights lawyer at the U.N., who gives her the phone number of the U.S. Ambassador to Peru – just in case.

When their small plane crashes, Alejandro, Justine and the surviving ‘do-gooders’ are captured and tortured by savages whose bodies are slathered with red ochre and chalk. Ironically, these are South America’s indigenous people, the ones that environmental activists are determined to ‘save.’

Leaving nothing to the imagination, Eli Roth vividly depicts dreadful eye-gouging and depraved genital mutilation of the victims, culminating in a feast, zooming in as the cannibals are chewing on roasted corpses.

FYI: After debuting at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival, this was in limbo due to its offensive content – until producer Jason Blum/Blumhouse Productions picked it up, creating a new label, BH Tilt, at Universal Studios.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Green Inferno” is a gross, stomach-churning 2, proving, once again, that no good deed goes unpunished.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.