It’s been almost six years since Eli Roth last directed a feature length film, 2007’s Hostel Part II. In that time he’s certainly been busy, producing, trying to get Endangered Species off the ground and even appearing in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds as “Bear Jew” Donny Donowitz. With Endangered still up in the air, Roth is moving on to a script he co-wrote with Guillermo Amoedo: The Green Inferno.
Despite sounding like something I caught while I was in Ireland last year, The Green Inferno was apparently inspired by Roth’s time in Chile, performing in Nicolás López’ earthquake thriller Aftershock. The story right now is hush-hush, but Roth is looking to film on location in Chile and Peru this fall.
Not only do I like Roth a great deal, I think he absolutely belongs behind the camera directing films. Few filmmakers of recent vintage have been able to display a jump in quality film-to-film the way Roth has. Cabin Fever was messy, and filled with a few too many in-jokes*. But by the second Hostel I got the sense of a very astute, much schooled director behind the lens – and one with a keener sense of the horror genre. I don’t think it was ever Roth’s intention to help herald in the torture porn; that was just a byproduct of two very entertaining (and under-appreciated) films. Here’s hoping he continues to improve with Inferno, both as filmmaker and storyteller.
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*This is something Kevin Smith likes to do as well, and I think it’s one of the most bugfuck things a director can do to shit on their own movie. Roth seemingly learned his lesson after Cabin. Smith will probably keep doing it in Hit Somebody. Point being: beginners make mistakes. And some mistakes will continue to make beginner’s mistakes.