Top critical review
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Enjoyable and tense, but a little familiar
on 11 July 2011
When two young American girls decide to cycle through Argentina together, they stop in a little back-country town and decide to hit the town's only bar to celebrate the last night of their journey. Getting a little too drunk, they manage to get themselves in hot water and miss their ride to the airport. Stuck for things to do for a whole day, they decide to go exploring, but the drunken resentments of the night before well up and lead to a fight. Separating briefly, Amber Heard's Stephanie soon realises something's wrong when she goes back for her friend only to find her missing without a trace.
None of the townsfolk seem to want to help, everybody keeps sharing nervous glances, and a friendly American who's inexplicably hanging around the town may or may not be too friendly...
The 'tourists lost in a foreign country, out of their depth and unable to speak the language or get help' formula has been quite well trodden by everything from 'Turistas' ("Paradise Lost") on downwards, and while this is a well directed effort with good tension and some truly oustanding scenery and filming, the idea can't help feeling a little well-worn.
You're never in any doubt that Stephanie will get some kind of answer whether good or bad, and you're never in doubt that someone will turn out not to be who they seem.
It's execution has good tension, and the movie improves towards the climax. By the final scenes, the predictability has fallen away to be replaced by increasing fear and uncertainty, and it has a very well handled ending. A good thriller that may feel a little familiar for most of its length, but rewards viewing.