When a movie does big money at the box office you can always count on a wave of clones to follow. Turistas wants desperately to be Hostel, but Eli Roth’s horror “masterpiece” makes Fox Atomic’s first feature film look like a game of patty cake.
Granted Turistas takes a big gamble, being the first American film shot entirely in Brazil. In that way the visuals of Turistas pay off, there are beautiful shots of beaches, mountains, waterfalls and simply stunning underwater cinematography. However in a horror film are pretty visuals really what drive the movie? The answer is simple; absolutely not.
Sure you want your film to look nice, that is a given, but when your horror film lacks substantial scares or thrills, you have a big problem. Like most horror films Turistas features an attractive, young cast who go on a hedonistic trip in search of drinking and fornication. Yes, the locales in Turistas are a bit more eye catching than most horror schlock, but when a 89 minute horror movie only has a small portion featuring any blood, guts or gore, you have a big problem.
So what makes up the majority of the dreadfully slow running time? Lots of shots of hard bodied college students partying, that’s what. Director John Stockwell, whose previous credits include Blue Crush and Into the Blue, proves yet again with his latest tropical adventure that he is the premiere photographer of the scantily clad, bikini laden female form. As a red blooded, American male I never thought those sorts of sexually driven images could become mind numbingly dull, but Stockwell proves they sure can with an overload of shots focusing on women’s behinds.
Have you ever been to a club, acting as a wallflower and observing everyone else having good, clean drunken fun? Remember how tedious and boring that can be? Well that is exactly what it is like watching the majority of Turistas.
So when the gore does eventually hit, is it worth your hard earned money? If you go in expecting Hostel again, prepare to be very disappointed because Turistas is tame. Perhaps a bigger problem with the film is how Turistas handles the tone of its horror. Hostel has a very tongue-in-cheek approach to its gore whereas Turistas is dead serious and in turn bland and completely ineffective.
Even the most visually stimulating part of the film, an underwater chase sequence, is devoid of any real thrills or chills. Perhaps if it had been trimmed down from its tedious length it could have been a bit more exciting, because it is a shame such gorgeous cinematography goes completely wasted on such a bland story.
With another torture themed horror film out on the market Turistas will easily attract those looking for Hostel in an exotic location, too bad that isn’t what they are going to find. If you are planning on seeing Turistas and find yourself at the theater this weekend, do yourself a favor and see another movie or just “GO HOME”.
– Joe Russo, MoviePulse