New York college student Justine (Lorenza Izzo) meets student activist Alejandro (Ariel Levy) when he goes on a hunger strike on behalf of underpaid janitors. Smitten, she agrees to help Alejandro undertake his next project: rescuing an Amazon village from destruction by a greedy multinational corporation. But Justine soon comes to regret her decision when their plane crashes in the Peruvian jungle and the students realize they are not alone. No good deed goes unpunished as the well-meaning students are captured by the cannibalistic tribe they came to save.
Eli Roth is up there on the list of my favorite directors and I had heard so much hype surrounding this film and its distribution troubles that I couldn’t wait to see it. The first 15 minutes of the film I think were the hardest to watch. Not because of anything gruesome but I felt the acting was atrocious. Izzo was actually the only one that managed to shine in the midst of everyone else. No one else seemed believable and it seemed like they were phoning it in. Now with that being said, the remainder of the movie where everyone was screaming in terror and pain felt real. You could see that they were all scared of the uncertainty of the situation and eventually of what was to come. I thought the group was 100 times better when their characters’ lives were in danger. The gore was what you would expect in an Eli Roth movie. There was lots of it and it was very graphic. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or what because there was some of the more gruesome moments that were a little tough to watch then there were others that you could tell were obviously practical effects. One thing that I was in awe throughout the entire movie about was the fact that the village and tribe that is show in the film is actually real and not actors (besides 2 of the main members of the tribe). It was that fact that had me glued to the screen and grabbed my curiosity about the whole thing. The ending to the film was one that I can honestly say that I absolutely hated. It took a pretty strong movie and just threw something on at the end that was really dumb. Roth could’ve done ANYTHING else and it would’ve been better. Even with that though I do feel like it is worth checking out at least for the meat (total pun intended) of the story. 7/10
Feature Commentary with Co-Writer/Director/Producer Eli Roth, Producer Nicolás López, and Stars Lorenza Izzo, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, and Daryl Sabara