Rain forest Shmainforest
I had to get the South Park joke out of the way first. Justine (Lorenza Izzo) is a college Freshman who after getting worked up over a lesson on female gender mutilation in class gets invited by Jonah (Aaron Burns) to join an activist group lead by Alejandro (Ariel Levy) and his super bitch girlfriend, Kara. (Ignacia Allamand) Their mission is to go to South America, where a small tribe is about to be destroyed along with the rain forest around them. After they arrive and manage to live stream some bulldozing, their trip is cut short when their plane crashes and the tribe they are trying to protect has other plans for them.
Eli Roth's ode to Cannibal Holocaust (though thankfully without all the rape and actual animal killings) has been a long time coming. Originally scheduled for a 2013 release, it got stuck in distribution hell and was released this week with zero promotion. It's a shame, because Roth knows horror and a brutal film like this could find a decent audience had it actually been promoted a bit.
The film takes the slow burn approach. The wait for the students to get to the jungle is almost agonizingly long and it hammers in the foreshadowing, but once they arrive to their doomed destination, it wastes no time getting to the gore.
Acting-wise, the film starts off terribly as we're introduced to Justine's friend, Kaycee (Sky Ferreira) who I'm not even exaggerating - is one of the worst actresses I've ever seen. Immediately after seeing her I was afraid I'd be in for some wooden performances, but the core group of actors who are taken are much stronger and play "terrified" very well.
The film is brutal and at times very hard to watch, but I've always enjoyed Roth's directing, and Greg Nicotero's make up is perfect for this type of film. The score is very menacing balances everything well. There's a part after the credits that almost ruins the ending a bit. I wish I would've made it out of the theater before it started because I liked how it ended better before seeing it. Either way, this is a good way to kick off "horror season."
Memorable Quote: "I wish I would've died in that crash." - Amy (Kirby Bliss Blanton)
Random thought: Read interviews with Eli Roth about making this film, or at least the IMDb trivia section. It's insane.