Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Turistas (4 Stars)
"Turistas" is the film's original title. In England it's been released as "Paradise Lost".
This film has been compared with "Hostel". Even the American DVD cover, shown above, mentions "Hostel". I can see the reason for the comparison, but they are very different films, both in content and style. This review will contain more spoilers than usual, so if you think you might watch the film and want to avoid spoilers, please stop reading here. The review continues after the movie poster with the delightful Melissa George, looking much sexier than she did in "Triangle".
The film follows the journey of a group of young holidaymakers in Brazil. Some are travelling together, others are meeting for the first time. After a bus crash they're stranded in a beautiful isolated location. The place is so wonderful that they don't want to leave. The fun turns into terror when they're robbed and left with nothing: no money, no luggage, no passports. Not even shoes. With the help of a native boy they try to find their way back to civilisation, but bigger danger is waiting for them. They're captured by a gang led by a surgeon who makes money from selling body organs. He operates on foreign tourists, removing their internal organs while they're still conscious.
This is, of course, the connection with "Hostel". Both films are about tourists being cut up. However, the gore in this film isn't as exaggerated as in "Hostel". There is only one comparable scene. Rather than relying on torture porn, "Turistas" contains a lot of suspense and action scenes. For me the most terrifying scene is where the surviving tourists have to flee from their pursuers by swimming through underwater caves. Almost instinctively I was holding my breath to test whether I would survive as long.
This is an enjoyable film. Even my dog Buster likes it. He rates it four Head Tilts.