Turistas (2006) Movie Reviews

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Brazil Nuts!

After their bus crashes while touring in Brazil, a group of young adults find themselves in a world of misery...

Not ever likely to be watched by members of the Brazilian Tourist Board, Turistas (AKA: Paradise Lost) is a whole mixed bag of a movie. Narratively it has been done before, a bunch of pretty types end up coming face to face with criminals and psychopaths in a land they don't know and barely understand.

The build up to the horror elements is slow, and for some horror fans it takes too long. Yet conversely it's good that the makers have afforded time for the characterisations to build, allowing for some humour, some drama and an insight into a multi national group dynamic. You may not much care what happens to them, but at least you know them!

Actually filmed on location in Brazil, there's a lot of mother nature's natural beauty (and her tough terrain at times) on show, all neatly photographed by Enrique Chediak (28 Weeks Later/127 Hours). However, the trump card is the underwater sequences, which are superbly put together, including a thrilling extended chase sequence that lifts the film out of horror/thriller averageville.

There's messages in the mix that valiantly try to make a point, but they get lost as things go a bit cuckoo. Yet there's enough good craft on show, and a horror sequence guaranteed to make you squirm, to make this worth a viewing. It is a good bit better than what some of the hate poured on it suggests, though the caveat is that horror fans should know it only gets into horror territory late in the day. 6/10