Eli Roth is polarizing as a director- with fans of his loving him, while detractors can't hide their displeasure of his horror stories relying far too much on gore.
I fall more in-line with his fans. He's mostly a one-trick pony, for sure, but over the top gore doesn't bother me. He may rely on rivers of red stuff in his stories, but I find it to be a nice throwback to the late 70s/ early 80s gore helmed by directors such as Herschel Gordon Lewis, as well as a better option than the other direction horror has become: ineffective PG13 films made specifically to get more ticket sales by allowing younger audience members in seats.
Green Inferno is Roth's love letter to the infamous Italian Cannibal films of his (and my) youth, and for the most part, it's a solid effort. In an unusual step for Roth, ESPECIALLY considering the source material and his previous films, he comes off as holding back. While it doesn't kill the film, it makes me wonder what it might have been.
A full 45 minutes pass before we even come across the cannibals in this film, and once we do, Roth seems to rush the kills after a pretty twisted first casualty. Where Roth's body counts throughout his movies always seem to let the audience "relish" each death, these within the Green Inferno come and go quickly, with the final kill, seemingly being one that was great on paper, just falling short, sadly.
In fact, on more than a few occasions throughout the film, not only are the kills less than what fans are used to, but logic, character consistency, and lingering questions are just left open. For a director known for excess, it's a bit disheartening to end the film with viewers wanting more instead of feeling like they were given more than they could take.
With all these negatives, Green Inferno falls into 3rd place (out of 4 Roth films) in my order of enjoyment. I still believe the original Cabin Fever and Hostel are his best works. However, even falling into that slot, it's STILL better than ALL but a few of the overproduced PG13 "horror" films Hollywood keeps pumping out, trying to convince us it belongs in that genre.
Overall, the kills are not up to what I've come to expect from Roth (with the exception of the first one, which very well may be one of his best) but they're still better than most. The story is fast-paced and brisk (don't worry about the first 45mins being cannibal-free. It sets up the story very well) and has the better than average character interaction that has become a Roth staple. Even the obvious people to die are more than interchangeable camp counselors.
I may sound harsh on my negatives, but this is still a great purchase- one that even after seeing it in a theater, I added to my home library.