There’s a group of rising horror director’s out there right now that will, someday, hold the status of greats like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and Dario Argento. Peeps like Ti West and Darren Lynn Bousman are in this pack of directors—and the main motherf*cker that will be remembered and renowned for his contributions to the horror genre is CABIN FEVER director Eli Roth. Or, at least, he was. The dude hasn’t directed a feature film in 5 years (2007’s HOSTEL PART 2), and even that effort was short of extraordinary. In the meantime, he’s been producing within the genre (THE LAST EXORCISM), acting up on the big screen (INGLORIOUS BASTERDS), and even wrote a script or two (AFTERSHOCK). He’s taken on small directing gigs here and there (the fake trailer THANKGIVING), but hasn’t given us much in terms of a directorial feature. And that, my friends, is about to change.
This past week news broke that Roth has officially signed on to direct a little horror flick called THE GREEN INFERNO, in which he co-wrote with Guillermo Amoebe. But other than the title and the fact that it’s filming in Chile, we don’t know squat about THE GREEN INFERNO. And you know what, that’s a-ok with me, because at this point, I’m just happy the guy is finally getting back in the director’s chair, which will more than likely be extremely f*cked up and brutal. It’s about goddamn time.
Roth had a solid run there for awhile. CABIN FEVER hit in 2002 (yes folks, a full decade ago), which put him on the map as a guy to go to for mass gore and carnage, but a also a guy who knows the genre and likes giving it nods at any chance they get. A short 3 years later he busted out with HOSTEL, a film that helped shape and form the torture porn genre (along with the SAW franchise), thus catapulting the man into one of the highest profile positions as the go-to expert of the horror genre (case in point, Roth is the bonafide horror expert in about a dozen horror documentaries). Being on top of the world with HOSTEL, the next natural step was to follow it up with something awesomely amazing—an over-the-top sequel with 2007’s HOSTEL PART 2. And that’s where the hot streak came to a hault.
Sure, the same year Roth directed the short fake trailer THANKSGIVING for the GRINDHOUSE project, a trailer that was absolutely amazing and reinforced Roth’s status as a horror director who loves the genre and knows how to tribute it without overly exploiting it. But that was a trailer and not a full-fledged movie. The movie we got was HOSTEL PART 2, a film that fell way below expectations. While not horrendous, it certainly wasn’t as good as HOSTEL, and it ended up just being OK at best. I wouldn’t say it was an all-out failure, but it wasn’t nearly as solid as it should have been, especially coming off of CABIN FEVER and HOSTEL. And certainly not bad enough for Roth to shun directing for 5 years and take a backseat to the filmmaking process.
But whatever. He was wounded, and now that he’s over it, let’s hope to hell that he delivers the goods with THE GREEN INFERNO. And why wouldn’t it? Even as a producer the guy was delivering some solid horror contributions—and the film he acted in was nominated for Best Picture. So it’s not like he’s been sitting around doing nothing—the guy’s been busy as f*ck. But to hell with all that other crap! It’s the director in him that we all want to see, it’s what we’ve all been dying to check out, and now.. it’s finally here. What could THE GREEN INFERNO have in store for us? A sequel to SOYLENT GREEN, perchance? A science fiction horror romp? A room that’s painted green that doubles as a living hell for all those who enter it? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough, but for now, all we can do is speculate.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’ but I’m super ecstatic for Eli Roth to finally get back behind the camera and in the director’s chair again for THE GREEN INFERNO. Say what you will about the dude as an actor or in real life, the guy has some serious directing chops and I have a feeling he has more to offer the genre than just 3 films and a trailer—I just hope it’s well-received enough for Roth to get his groove back and continue to make movie without another 5 year gap in between.