Turistas (2006)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
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Overall Rating 54%
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Ranked #2,010
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A group of young backpackers' vacation turns sour when a bus accident leaves them marooned in a remote Brazilian rural area that holds an ominous secret. --IMDb
Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel
Melissa George
Melissa George
Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde
Desmond Askew
Desmond Askew
Beau Garrett
Beau Garrett
Review by Chad
Added: April 01, 2007
I loved Hostel - there, I said it. I also enjoyed most of the Hostel clones that followed, so when I heard about Turistas, I expected to see yet another take on this newly-mainstream "torture porn" genre, but I also expected to at least enjoy it. Gorgeous women in skimpy bikinis. Involuntary organ removals. Plenty of the ol' ultraviolence. What's not to love about all that? Let me tell you: a lot.

Our storyline begins with a trio of fresh-faced teens - siblings Alex (Josh Duhamel) and Bea (Olivia Wilde), along with Bea's best friend Amy (Beau Garrett) - taking a vacation to Brazil for a week of beaches, booze, and of course, premarital sex (hopefully not with one another). When their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the trio meet a couple of new people - Australian Pru (Melissa George) and the British duo of Finn (Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown) - and the six new friends band together to find a way out of this mess. What they eventually discover is that there's a secluded beach nearby, complete with its own bar and plenty of locals who seem to be extremely friendly towards these "turistas", so instead of waiting around for the next bus to pick them up, they all decide to spend their vacation here. What they don't count on is winding up drugged, tied up, and having their internal organs harvested for black market sales.

My problem with Turistas wasn't the concept, nor was it the choice to begin the movie with a lengthy introduction to the characters by way of these beach scenes. After all, Hostel operated in a very similar fashion, and as you'll see if you click the above link for that review, I enjoyed the hell out of that movie. I wasn't even bothered by the fact that this was an obvious clone of Hostel, right down to the lengthy introductions, the "kills", and the eventual chase scenes; after all, I'm a huge fan of zombie movies, and every new release film centered around the walking dead is a copy of something that came before it. My problem with Turistas was... well, just about everything else.

For starters, let's take a look at the characters. In Hostel, we were given a group of likable people, people who actually came across as the arrogant Americans in a foreign land that they portrayed. On the one hand, the audience could connect with these people: they were, after all, likable and charming, but at the same time, you really wanted to see them get what they deserved for being the typical, cocky frat boys. Therefore, watching the slow first act of the film in Hostel wasn't a deal-breaker: the characters were good, the acting better, and everything just clicked together as it should have. Turistas attempts the same approach, only here, we're treated to cookie-cutter characters (and not in the "typical Americans" sense - more like, "typical horror movie characters") who are played by people who probably shouldn't have moved past whatever teen drama is popular this month.

Alright, so the first act was a bust, but that's not the part that people are going to pay to see, so let's move on the torture and snuff scenes. Again, Turistas receives a big, fat "F" for its efforts. The villains are as one-dimensional as they come (complete with the usual over-long explanation behind their motives ala Scooby Doo), the violence and torture is nearly non-existent (one good scene in the whole freaking movie), and the whole rationale behind this madness is just downright silly. I never thought that I would be bored by a movie that is chock-full of T&A for the first half and which features doctors hacking up people for their body parts in the second, but Turistas has proven me wrong in that regard.

The final act is the typical escape sequence, in which the main characters have escaped their tormentors and are running through the jungle with said tormentors hot on their heels. This is to be expected, nay, required from a movie like this, but once again, the execution just kills any sort of tension that there could have been. My biggest problem was the fact that the lighting man seemed to have taken the day off during these shoots; I lost count of how many times I sat there wondering "Alright, who is that? Who's chasing who here? Is that the good guy or the bad guy?" The fact that nearly everyone involved is so cookie-cutter and came straight out of "Stereotypical Horror Characters 101" certainly didn't help, but giving us more than a glimmer of light would have worked wonders for this film. Don't even get me started on the final moments of the chase, a scene which caps off the movie with an event that is so implausible and unlikely that I probably would have laughed had I not been so disappointed.

If you enjoyed Hostel but felt that the violence was too over-the-top and thought that it would have been infinitely better with rejects from The OC in the leading roles, Turistas is the movie for you. Everyone else should avoid this like the plague. 1/10.
bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 04/02/2007, 11:51 AM
Good. Fantastic review and I couldn't agree more. "Turistas" was worthless in every way. Nothing original and nothing worthwhile. I think I even preferred "Hostel" to this one and I really, really, really hated "Hostel". 0/10.
danimigra #2: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 06:17 PM
For me is a relly cool movie... but meaby because i was born in brasil..jaja i love it.... slasher as hell..!
8/10 is ok for me...
but i hate hostel also.
Tristan #3: Tristan - added 10/11/2008, 10:55 PM
1/10? That's crazy talk. I was expecting the most dreadful of movies when I popped this in, but it actually wasn't half bad. The acting was pretty shoddy, and the concept was lame, but the kills were pretty well done, and that underwater sequence was intense. I really can't give it any less than 6/10.
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