"Turistas" is a tense, unsettling thriller centering around a diverse group of young adventure travelers. After a terrifying bus accident maroons them in a remote Brazilian beach town, they slowly discover that the white sand beaches and lush jungles are concealing a darker, unsettling secret...
This is one from the `Backpacker Beware' genre, that really would put anyone off from going absolutely anywhere without a body guard. It stars Josh Duhamel as Alex, who is backpacking through Brazil with his sister Bea (Olivia Wilde) and their friend Amy (Beau Garret). They are on the worst driven bus in all of South America, when unsurprisingly the driver wrecks the thing. Everyone gets out and are told that the next bus has been booked - yaay! But that it will take ten hours to possibly arrive - boo!
So they decide to check out the local beach which has some exceedingly friendly locals and more narcotics than an Amsterdam Coffee Shop. So they decide that this is Paradise and together with three co travellers and another touring couple they decide to party on down. Two of these are brothers from London and Finn (Desmond Askew) has the strangest accent ever, but very recognisable, that might be why he gets to do so many voice overs for video games; any way I digress.
Once our plucky party animals wake up they realise they have been drugged and robbed, so in good old Western Tourist style they had off to inform the local Constabulary. Only there aint a Cop Shop, so they decide to reclaim their filched property from the locals; and it goes very bad very quickly. Luckily they have made friends with one local who comes to their aid. We also have a sub plot of tourists going missing on a regular basis and a trade in human body parts, but are these events linked - mwaahh etc.
Any way to say any more would be a plot spoiler and the whole point of this film is to be a horror, and it does work, whilst being moody, scary and quite gory all at the same time. There are also some stunning underwater shots and an awful lot of running about the place scantily clad; so a big well done to director John Stockwell for that. There is great tension throughout and yes a couple of plot holes but they are forgivable as this is one of those films that I did not have high hopes for but was really pleasantly surprised, but not that pleasantly surprised at some of the more gruesome scenes, and definitely not one to watch with a TV dinner or even a bag of crisps and you might be risking even with a cup of tea, so do take care.
Well acted, well paced and with the right amount of nice stuff to nasty stuff ratio that gets you to care about the characters and with enough oomph to keep you hooked until the end, don't know why it was called after John Milton's poem though and I am pretty sure the Brazilian Tourist Board would want to have a word with Mr Stockwell, but never mind as he has made rather a good little film - recommended.
What more do you want?....beautiful beach, isolated beach bar, hunks in shorts, bikini clad girls, plenty of drinks, loud music and dancing….. Well some horror for a start. The first hour runs like a cheap holiday promo for a secluded beach holiday— Then it turns sour as 6 friends find themselves in a ‘Wrong Turn’ situation meets ‘The Descent’ with a bit of ‘Saw’ thrown in for the squeamish. The film is slow to get into its stride, building up the interplay between the main characters, whilst teasing with flashes of suspense as it lays the basic plot out. Its only an hour in when the ‘horror’ aspect cuts in for the next quarter of an hour and the rest is just a question of will anyone get away or not. This is definitely not a ‘must see’ but is more a ‘worth seeing’ movie, but others offer far more scares and surprises. Its well filmed and acted but lacks true horror being more of a suspense type thriller than gore fest slasher being the kind of movie that becomes quite scary if you can imagine yourself in that situation, but it all comes too late in the film. That all said, the disc main menu offers play, scene selection, special features [make –up effect & deleted scenes] and set up [basically subtitles or for hard of hearing]. If its ‘in your face’ slasher gore you’re looking for, or the suspense of ‘Vacancy’, then avoid this, if it’s a fun holiday that goes wrong, but is light on scares and heavy on beautiful locations, then this could be for you. A decent *** rating but to give four would be pushing it as its not what’s advertised.
During my forty odd ( very odd) years on this increasingly water logged planet we call earth i haven't travelled as much as i would have liked. Mainly because I'm too lazy and frugal but watching films like Paradise Lost means I'm also unlikely to travel for fear that some hideous fate will befall me. With Slovakia off the menu after the torture porn of Quentin Tarantino Presents : Hostel   I could be forgiven for being in mortal fear of visiting Brazil lest i am abducted for sinister reasons. The premise for Paradise Lost is efficiently simple. American Alex( Josh Duhamel) his sister Bea(Olivia Wilde) and her flighty pal Amy (Beau Garrett) are on a bus with two would be English lothario,s Fin( Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown) , when the bus driver speeding along the narrow mountain roads totals the vehicle. Rather than wait hours for the next bus they trudge on to nearby beach where they discover a bar staffed by incredibly nubile and friendly locals. This is great they think and things get even better for Alex when he meets Australian back-packer Pru (Melissa George) who he immediately gels with . A party breaks out when night falls and before you can shout Alan Partridge like -spiked - the friends wake up sprawled on the beach realised that they've been drugged and all their gear has been nicked. However missing shorts and passports are the least of their problems as what ensues involves abduction and lots of nasty sharp implements in soft yielding flesh. This is a highly efficient thriller that eschews many of the visceral thrills of contemporary horror films -though one scene it must be stressed is extremely gory- this is the extreme edition however though in truth it,s not extreme at all . Most importantly what befalls the travellers has a believable ( well almost) socio-political genesis based around exploitation of smaller countries( economically not geographically) and America's mistrust of the world post 9/11 which shunts it up a level from gratuitous horror/ slaughter fare. This is helped by Stockwell actually shooting the film in Brazil so it feels empirically right. This doesn't mean that Paradise Lost is perfect however. The abduction of the gang is elongated and nonsensical -why not just take them after they have been drugged?- and it far to readily gives in to cliché- you know who will die almost as soon as you meet them and the resolution is too easily achieved . The film is pretty well acted though and some of the scenes are proficiently handled by director John Stockwell( an underwater chase is pulse thumpingly claustrophobic ) Overall Paradise Lost is a lean mean efficient melding of thriller and horror though in truth it's not horrific enough to put me off visiting Brazil. Given the chance I'd be there like a shot......or indeed to Slovakia ...i don't believe everything i see in the movies.