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Turistas

dir: John Stockwell
[img_assist|nid=798|title=Come to Brazil: You'll lose your heart. And probably your kidneys too.|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=360|height=259]
Bunch of backpackers go to Brazil. Evil locals catch them and harvest some of their organs. The other tourists try to escape.

The end. Is there really a need for any further review? Unfortunately for you, I can’t help myself, so yes, there are acres and acres of more review to plough through.

I can’t really explain how this flick is different from, say, Wolf Creek or any other flick where a bunch of clueless white people are preyed upon by evil dark-skinned locals. I guess the Brazilian setting is different. The motivation of the villains is slightly different. Having Melissa George play an Australian is a bit of a stretch as well.

All up it’s still super generic in its genericness. It’s no better than the movies it copies, but it’s not significantly worse either. It’s reasonably well done for a flick of its type.

I didn’t hate it, and there was at least one sequence that was genuinely tense and scary, which is one more than most horror flicks seem to manage these days.

Who the actors are, and why their characters are in Brazil is irrelevant. You don’t care, the director doesn’t care: they’re there alternately to die, or run and then die, or if they’re lucky and attractive, survive.

What is notable about the flick is that it uses some of that same ‘everybody hates us’ mentality that has been arising in recent horror flicks like Hostel where it posits the idea that the rest of the world hates Americans so much that they’ll murder random Americans just for the hell of it. It’s a paranoid way of looking at the world, which is perfect, I guess, for the purposes of a horror flick aimed at an American audience.

They make it more than just a subtext by actually having the evil doctor character who leads this merry band of organ thieves justify what he’s doing to one of his reluctant patients by blaming America’s greedy consumption of the world’s resources as sufficient cause for his actions.

Pointing to deeper significances and such is pointless. The backpackers are just backpackers. They don’t really do anything to ‘justify’ being robbed or slaughtered, and when their time comes to be hunted down, they die like anyone else. The villains are just generic bad guys (except for the doctor), and perform their acts of perfidy and rottenness mostly just because they’re Brazilian, as far as I could tell.

Ah, nothing like a Brazilian to perk you up.

The rest of the flick may, indeed, be generic crap, but the chase sequence in an underwater cave is actually well done. The claustrophobic feel, the terror of dying either at the hands of one of the doctor’s goons or drowning are far more disconcerting than the slice-and-dice scenes from earlier. The tense, desperate struggle to survive really works for those five or so minutes.

The rest? Eh. Desmond Askew reprises his role from the Doug Liman movie Go as the single most irritating actor of British derivation in any movie working today, and dies a much deserved death. The rest of them are chosen based on the washboardness of their washboard abs, and their roles could have been played by mannequins.

And for all I know they were. It’s survival horror with nothing (apart from the underwater scene) to distinguish it from a million other flicks of its ilk. As such, even if it’s not that bad, there’s no real reason to watch it.

You’ve got better things to do.

5 reasons this flick should do wonders for Brazil’s tourist industry out of 10

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“Don't take this personally; if it makes you feel any better, I'm doing this for a good cause” – Turistas.

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