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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4%
Worth A Look: 12%
Average: 2%
Pretty Bad52%
Total Crap: 30%

6 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Turistas (2006)
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by William Goss

"Brazilian Whacks"
2 stars

Numbingly devoid of suspense, logic, and proper lighting, 'Turistas' takes viewers into the exotic jungles of Brazil, only to find nothing they haven’t already seen done better elsewhere.

Stranded after a bus accident, a veritable Epcot World Showcase of nubile youths – not just snobby Americans, but Aussies, Brits and Swedes to boot – make their way to a nearby beach bar oasis, only to wake up destitute and increasingly less popular with the locals. As such, our unwitting victims find themselves led deep into the jungle, where a considerate surgeon (Miguel Lunardi) simply can’t wait to rid the gringos of their precious organs.

Despite being easily marketed as a travelogue of torture, Turistas is more survival horror, with more chases taking place than anything, save for a centerpiece explicitly depicting the harvesting of above-mentioned organs. Director John Stockwell has tackled pretty people in a perilous paradise previously with last fall’s Into the Blue, yet even he seems rather uninterested in the plight of his characters. While not actively awful, Turistas is harsh without being hostile, and about as deep regarding international vulnerability post-9/11 as Babel was (no, not exactly a compliment). The disposable victims, while not particularly deserving of their fate, are neither sympathetic enough to care for nor insensitive enough to root against, and of all people, the villain is the only one given any semblance of dimension, during one of those ever-so-convenient movie monologues, although the social righteousness behind the bloodshed is somewhat more justified than in most horror fare, neither he nor his ‘patients’ are all that interesting to begin with.

The young adults – led by small-screen stars Josh Duhamel (“Las Vegas”), Melissa George (“Alias”), and Olivia Wilde (“The O.C.”) – don’t make the dumbest possible decisions, although anyone willing to follow a stranger in a strange land on a ten-hour hike without once putting their foot down and heading back might just be asking for it. However, once they get to the house in the middle of nowhere, Stockwell opts to depend on more murky lighting than jump cuts, which is a whole new kind of annoying. Even his traditionally impressive underwater cinematography is sabotaged by a lack of light, and while there is a refreshing lack of visual effects, it makes that one particularly awful shot of CGI stand out all the more. The very fact that the film itself is a more straightforward escape thriller, a pulpy paperback rather than a slice-'em-dice-'em slaughter session, is mildly admirable, but considering how so very dull the proceedings are (even the central surgery sequence lacks a visceral fascination), perhaps a greater sense of exploitation would have better suited, with the ethical recklessness not unlike January's Hostel, to which this film draws easy, yet inaccurate comparison.

Regardless, even in the darkest of scenes, there is still little doubt as to what happened, who died, and who will be next. Everything about the script by first-time writer Michael Ross is gratingly routine, so even if you can’t see something coming, you already will. 'Turistas' isn’t all that exciting, entertaining, or fun, no matter which way you cut it.

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originally posted: 12/01/06 16:34:16
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell boring hostel rip off 1 stars
11/19/09 mr.mike Was no bad on cable 4 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
6/03/08 mike terrible waste of time. long wait for gore and very little shown. LAME 1 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Underrated chiller-effectively creepy, tension builds up slowly. 4 stars
5/25/07 David Pollastrini Cave scenes gave me claustrophobia. 4 stars
5/25/07 Indrid Cold A moderately interesting adventure story that eventually fizzles out. 2 stars
4/06/07 Vince Tense horror movie. Cave scenes at end excellent. Oh, and some boobies too. 4 stars
4/02/07 action movie fan not bad wolf creek-hostel imitation-engrossing story a bit gruesome though 4 stars
3/29/07 Johnny Martillan its very nice especially the effects of the, its look like areal things.... 5 stars
1/26/07 Jeff Anderson Begins strongly & contains moments of real terror, then RAPIDLY goes downhill & gets stupid 2 stars
12/13/06 jdean62 A waste of my time !! ending sucked ! dont go!!!! 1 stars
12/08/06 sharks1947 First half had promise, poor lightin ruined it 4 stars
12/07/06 Luke As average as movies get. No reason to check this out again. 3 stars
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  01-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007



Directed by
  John Stockwell

Written by
  Michael Ross

  Josh Duhamel
  Melissa George
  Olivia Wilde
  Desmond Askew
  Beau Garrett
  Max Brown

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