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.