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Turistas Earn Their Fate

Published November 30, 2006 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Fox Atomic.
Turistas Poster Turistas
I can’t remember the last time I’ve rooted for people to die in a movie as much as I did in Turistas. Well, I root for the deaths in Final Destination and Saw but that’s because they’re awesome. I’m talking about wanting characters to die because they so deserve to for being so damn obnoxious.

Movie Review: Turistas

Turistas is Hostel-light. Kids vacationing in Brazil find a tropical paradise, only to wake up robbed and targeted for unwilling organ transplants. That may not sound like much of a threat. You can live without a kidney. But they’re planning to take ALL of the organs, so you’re screwed.

Thing is, right away, these kids earn their fates. First, they violate the native customs and instead of apologizing, yell at the father protecting his child. Then, they find the beach and decide to stay there, living off the generosity of the locals, taking advantage of their resources. Bravo to the natives for drugging and robbing their asses.

Even then they could have just taken the lesson and walked back to town, tails between legs, and begged for a contact at the U.S. Embassy. But the idiots keep trusting locals who clearly have it in for them. They follow a guide to some mystery house, where what do you think is going to happen?

It doesn’t end there though. These kids get THREE warnings to turn back. One from their guilty guide, another from the villain’s henchwoman! Still, they just stand there, or follow along! It’s not even a language barrier. These people spell it out for them. “You should run. We should go back.”

Where Hostel was Spielberg with gore, Turistas has no sense of manipulation. At least Hostel had an orgry. Turistas only has Amy, the designated slut meaning she takes off her top once. Everyone else frolics in bikinis and they look great, but it’s normal. It’s not some exotic world of debauchery that leads them to hell. Playing soccer on the beach and riding the waves says spring break, not paradise.

The gore is awful but not that clever. Fingers chopped, heads splattered and eyes impaled are just shocks, not cringe-y build-ups. They’re all lit so darkly you can’t even see much of what’s going on anyway. By the third act, it’s all gunfights. Who the hell cares about people shooting each other in a horror movie?

There’s one cool scene where they’re trying to escape by swimming in underwater caves, so they have to suck out air bubbles to breath. But they spend so much time underwater and you can’t see a thing, it’s like Into the Blue with all the T&A covered up. Maybe John Stockwell just wants to shoot in exotic locations, maybe the studios just call him in when they have a water script. Good for him, but this time there’s no fun for us.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Fox Atomic.

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