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Pitched as a horror but flowing more like a thriller, this confused film sees a group of young backpackers run into trouble when their bus breaks down and they are left to fend for themselves in the Brazilian countryside. This film has been slated by all and sundry, but there are a small number I seem to agree with. I found it entertaining and easy to watch, if predictable, and actually enjoyed watching it and would recommend it.
A maniac Brazilian bus driver causes his bus to teeter on the edge of a cliff. Joining together, a group of English speaking backpackers find their way to a nearby beach where there is music, drink and dance, as well as great hospitality. However, after a drunken night they wake up to find themselves robbed of everything and stranded. The idea of finding safety with local Kiko and a doctor's house soon becomes clear that it's anything but a good idea though, and something terrible is awaiting them instead...
This is a curious mix of films such as The Human Centipede and Hostel. The buildup takes up the majority of the film, and it's quite fast in terms of plot development. The characterisation is very basic, giving us minimal back stories on the characters, with perhaps the most focused upon being Alex (Josh Duhamel) and Pru (Melissa George). The group number 5 or 6, and it's as they are trying to find out what has happened to their things, including their passports, that they get a bit frantic and realise they're in danger.
Up until this point, there have been mixed emotions, with Alex taking on a 'leader' role and Pru giving a bit of backpacking and language knowledge. A mix of trepidation and fear on the one hand, and complete abandon and backpacking how it should be done on the other, mean that we get confused signals from the group, and the film itself seems to be trying to work out what is going on and how to present it. Largely a thriller, the horror elements are spoken about for a large part of the film but not actually entered into until quite late on.
There is a small amount of gruesome filming to start with, the occasional piece of graphic violence serving to show us what's in store. When we finally get to the horror element, it's more of the slasher evil doctor with an ultimate agenda type rather than the crazed violence loving maniac. But be warned: no holds are barred in the filming of the gruesome elements of the film. It is quite disturbing towards the end, and the filming and special effects crews must take credit for some impressively believable filming.
The acting is decent enough even if it isn't anything to write home about. Duhamel and George plod merrily along, while the support is average at best. It doesn't need to be anything special though. The plot's events are enough to show who we should be rooting for, and we actually do root for them, clear in the knowledge of what is going on even if they aren't. The twists are virtually non existent in this film, which is fine, and luckily the hole it would usually leave is filled by some tense jumpy moments and some edge of the seat chases.
That having been said, by the end of the film, the feeling I had was one that was just of a decent film. Nothing special, and doesn't break the barriers of the genre, although it does entertain throughout with the occasional dip in quality and the occasional rise. It's fast enough to entertain without dwelling on conversation or back story, and something you'd like if you enjoyed Hostel or The Human Centipede. Recommended but maintain lower expectation standards.
This movie must have slipped the net while we were changing postal dvd rental deals.
Apparantly the film was a flop at the box office in America which surprises me as I thought it was a good film.
The plot follows a group of backpackers who meet up whilst travelling on a bus being driven at break neck speed through the back and beyond of Brazil three Americans two English and an Australian.
As you can guess the bus crashes and they all end up on a beautiful beach complete with a bar and all the free loving any teenager could ask for.
They meet up with 2 other back packers on the beach who have been staying there for a while.
After a mad night partying they all wake up on the beach to discover they have been robbed of all their possesions and the two back packers they met have vanished.
They are then led by one of the locals to a secluded house which is also used for other purposes by a lunatic doctor.
Yes it is a bit predictable and you will find yourself shouting at the T.V screen" how can people be so stupid" but a good horror movie in all.
When a group of backpackers, including Alex and his sister Bea, and Pru from Australia, are stranded in a remote part of Brazil after their bus breaks down, they are delighted to find a beautiful beach, complete with bar, nearby. Soon, they are all drunk and enjoying themselves...but the euphoria is short-lived, because when they come to the next day, they realise that they have been robbed and two of them are missing. Trying to find help, they meet with much hostility from the locals, but thankfully one, called Kiko, is prepared to help them. Before much longer, they realise that Kiko realises they are in great danger, because a gang of criminals want their organs to sell. Can Kiko help them escape to safety? Or is he part of the criminal gang?
Having recently seen Melissa George in 30 Days of Night and the remake of The Amityville Horror, I am not a fan. I found both performances lack-lustre and annoying, so I didn't have great expectations of this one. However, I think she is much more suited to being a backpacker, rather than a respected woman of the community - she looked right for the role as Pru and, perhaps because she is able to speak with her native Australian accent, she seems much more natural. As the sensible one of the group, and the only one able to speak the native language, Pru is in many ways the leader of the group, so she gets plenty of screen-time. This may not be the best film she has been involved in, but she has convinced me that perhaps there is more to her than meets the eye - I won't immediately write her off next time I watch a film in which she performs.
Josh Duhamel plays Alex, the only other character that receives any serious screen-time - at least, he was the only other one that stood out for me - to be honest, the others all merged into one big blob of backpackers. As Alex, he is slightly annoying - he is only there to look after his little sister, a responsiblilty he takes very seriously, and so does come across as being a bit of a party pooper. Frankly, with the wisdom of age, I think it's a shame the others didn't listen to him a bit more! Duhamel isn't outstanding in the role, but he certainly doesn't stink either, and he stood out enough for me to recognise him in another project. I'm not familiar with him as an actor, but some may recognise him from All My Children and Transformers.
I had absolutely no expectations from this film. I have read nothing but bad reviews and it has been largely panned on imdb.com. Perhaps for that reason, I was quite surprised to find myself really enjoying the first half of the film. I did a fair bit of travelling in my youth and it brought back some pleasant memories; plus I found myself interested in the characters, at least Pru and Alex, between whom there is a hint of a romance. There is a feeling of real suspense too - I knew something horrible was going to happen, but I wasn't entirely sure what it was. On top of that, the scenery really is stunning - it was filmed in Brazil and really made me want to visit.
Unfortunately, the story doesn't really continue in the same way that it started. The film has been marketed as a horror, or at least that was what I was expecting, yet there is very little in it that is scary. There are a couple of nasty deaths, but nothing out of the ordinary. And then, when we find out exactly what it is that the criminal gang want from the backpackers, all the suspense disappears and all we are left with is a rather confused hot-potch of scenes involving chases under-water and over-ground. All these scenes take place in the dark and it is honestly very difficult to see who it involves and what is happening. After a while, I began to stop caring, which is a shame, because had it been done a little more transparently, it would have been a lot more watchable.
The special effects are well done. Probably the one that made me flinch the most was when Kiko cracks his head open and someone staples it back together - I was eating at the time, not the most sensible thing to do when watching a film like this I know, and did have to switch it off for a while. A wooden prong through someone's eye is also rather unpleasant. All that means that this film is definitely not suitable for children, especially, I would think, any teens who are about to go off travelling! It's probably not a good idea for their parents to be watching either. There is a sex scene as well - it isn't particularly graphic, but there's a fair amount of nudity involved. The rating of 18 is fair as far as I am concerned.
I think the main problem with this film is that it doesn't quite know what it wants to be. I think it has been aimed at fans of horror, but it really isn't all that horrific. I would class it more as a thriller than anything else - I certainly think that the suspense in the first part of the film would merit that classification. Had it been marketed as such, I think viewers may have been a lot less disappointed. I also think that those who watch it with low expectations will find more to enjoy in it than they might otherwise find.
There are a couple of extras - a feature about the special effects, which harped on rather too much about the head stapled back together for my liking! However, I have to admit it was rather well done. Finally, there is a trailer.
This film most certainly has its faults. The second half feels rushed and I can't help but feel that director John Stockwell did himself a disfavour by aiming it at the wrong audience. However, if you are prepared to give it a go and have low expectations, then you might just be surprised. I've certainly seen much much worse films than this. I'm not sure that I would recommend anyone went out of their way to watch it though - no doubt it will appear on late night TV at some point. Three stars out of five.
The DVD is available from play.com for £5.99.
Running time: 93 minutes
Directed by: John Stockwell
Written by: Michael Ross
Genre: Horror - Adventure - Drama - Thriller
Released: 8th October, 2007 (DVD)
Josh Duhamel (Alex)
Melissa George (Pru)
Olivia Wilde (Bea)
Desmond Askew (Finn)
Beau Garrett (Amy)
Max Brown (Liam)
Agles Steib (Kiko)
During a backpacking trip to Brazil, a group of young tourists are stranded when their bus is involved in an accident. Told that another bus has been sent for them, but that it will take ten hours to arrive, the group make their way down to a secluded beach in order to enjoy the day until their bus arrives.
The beach is far from secluded as there is a bar, music, and people their age that they can have some fun with. After spending a fantastic day with the people they've met, and having been told that the accommodations are cheaper than anywhere else, the group decide not to meet up with the bus that's been sent for them.
That evening, as the group are enjoying a few drinks and some great music, they are unaware that their drinks have been spiked. When they wake up in the morning, all their belongings have been stolen, and a couple they had been partying with have gone missing. They are alone and stranded without money, passports or clothes. Managing to find a small village nearby, their nightmare goes from bad to worse---the inhabitants are hostile, and they are, quite literally, being set up for the nightmarish holiday of a lifetime.
'Paradise Lost' is an interesting movie, a touch gory at times with a subject matter that is extremely chilling; however, that's what horror movies are all about. The more realistic the subject matter, the more unsettling the movie---and that's what this movie does, it unsettles the viewer because the story itself borders the truth. It is impossible to touch upon the subject matter without spoiling the movie; therefore I will not go into further detail.
As for the script, it isn't fantastic, but it isn't boring either---it is entirely satisfactory as it gives you the gist of who the characters are, where they're from, and what type of people they are. The acting is also very good, believable, however, no award nominations for the actors' and actresses' attempts.
This movie has received quite a bit of negative feedback, but not from me---I liked it, it was above-average as horror movies go and it was worth watching.
Recently my husband and I have fallen for ordering DVD rentals based on the trailers we have seen and Paradise Lost landed on our doorstep last night and we decided to put it on.
With no real stars we were hoping that this film offered a thrilling storyline and we thought it would be either similar to The Beach or Hostel so what did I really think?
The film begins on a bus full of tourists in Brazil with an bus driver making his way up a steep and winding mountain in an erratic manner whilst picking his nose!
It is at this point that we are introduced to Alex (Josh Duhamel) who is complaining about the driver and the manner in which he is driving the bus as he feels uneasy as if there is likely to be a crash.
Alex is accompanying is sister Bea (Olivia Wilde) and her friend Amy (Beau Garrett) on their first trip abroad and he obviously finds this extremely boring as his character at first comes across as very dull and uninteresting.
Pru (Melissa George) is another character we notice on the bus journey engrossed in her book and its not until the driver almost hits some pedestrians on the pathway throwing the bus onto a steep hill all the passengers can do is to escape before it tumbles down.
Alex, Amy, Bea and Pru make friends with cheeky cockney brothers, Finn (Desmond Askew) and Liam (Max Brown) as the try to collect their scattered belongings that have been left as the bus rolled down the hill.
As the passengers narrowly escape, it soons dawns on them that there is a long wait for the next bus, 10 hours in fact and when Amy decided to take some snaps of a young boy whilst they are waiting the parents get angry and an arguement develops, just in time two girls pass by with cocktails and as Pru asks them where they found the cocktails they are directed to a cabana bar on the beach and rather than wait around for the bus with the other passengers, they make their way down to the beach bar to enjoy a swim and some alcohol.
A few hours later and the small group decide to stay at this beach for a few days as the rooms are cheap and they seem to have everything they need, so they enjoy a night of drinking and dancing until it all turns sour the following morning and they wake up to find they have been drugged and all of their posessions taken and the next bus is not for another 2 days and when Alex find a motorcycle that belonged to a swedish couple they met the evening before he starts to wonder exactly what is going on and whilst asking the owner of the house whose bike it is, Liam spots a young boy wearing Alex's baseball cap and sets about chasing him to retrieve it and hopefully their other belongings but when a child throws a rock at them, Liam retaliates and hits the child on the back of the head leading to a huge scene with the residents of the village and its local boy Kiko (Agles Steib) who comes to their rescue offering them a place to hide away from all the trouble until the next bus arrives in town.
The group decide to follow Kiko and accept his help little do they know that Kiko is not all he seems and he is involved in a very nasty set up.
This film seemed fairly promising at the beginning although it took its time to get to the main point of the story.
The storyline is somewhat shameful and is as we predicted a cross between the Beach and Hostel but this film is certainly less entertaining, the storyline is poor the fact that the group find themselves trusting someone that they barely know to a house in the middle of nowhere, when they could stay in the run down village full of people.
To say this film is a let down is an understatment because for the first 40 minutes you really feel this film is going to be something and offer something a little different to your normal horror movie but unfortunately this is a gory horror that will have you flinching in places but a twist in the story is unlikely its predictable what will happen once the story kicks in and its most likely when you will switch off.
Definately a movie you should avoid as its definately not high class entertainment.
Watching Paradise Lost gives you the feeling its a sort of cheap low budget version of Hostel.
The story follows an American brother and sister who are joined by her friend on a trip to Brazil. Rather than having to wait 10 hours for the plane they decide to take the bus trip.
They are soon joined by 2 loud mouth brits and an Australlian girl (Mellisa George) who happens to be the only one who can speak the native laungauge.
They stumble across a beach where they decide to stay and party for a while. The awake the next morning to find out they have been robbed and all their stuff and belongings have gone.
One of the natives befriends the group but its later revealed that he is leading them to their worst nightmare.
They soon reach their destination where a psycotic doctor wants to remove all their organs so he can give to the local hospital. From this point its a game of cat and mouse as some of them manage to escape and are pursuited by the doctor and his henchmen.
It's not the worst film I have ever seen and it kind of starts off well but I feel as it got near the end things just started getting a bit out of hand and I feel it could have been made alot better. Its one of those films that you can understand why it was released straight onto dvd.
Paradise Lost, otherwise known as Turistas, is a god awful attempt at making a horror thriller and borrows a lot of ideas from the equally atrocious, but much more violent, Hostel.
Alex (Josh Duchamel) is on a back packing holiday in Brazil only because his parents insist on him going with his sister and her best friend to keep an eye on them and look after them. Travelling by a local bus they are suddenly stranded in the middle of nowhere when the bus crashes. Along with two loud mouthed Brits and Pru (Melissa George) they are amongst a bunch of locals left to wait ten hours until a replacement bus can get to pick them up. With only Pru able to speak the language they soon aggravate the locals by taking pictures of the children, the timely arrival of two Brazilian beauties with alcohol in their hands leads the group to a local beach bar. Fun, alcohol, music and a beach is more than they could have hoped for to wile away the hours and soon they begin partying in earnest.
Next morning they wake, sprawled over the beach, and discover they have been robbed of absolutely everything and are at a complete loss over what to do. They think they have hit rock bottom... but worse is still to come!
And worse doesn't just mean for the characters in the film, the poor viewers have to suffer almost as much as the participants. Paradise Lost is so facile. It is trying to hit a happy middle ground most of the time and so manages to be neither an out an out horror or a teenage wannabe horror (ie one that curbs everything to get a 15 certificate) There is only one scene in the whole film that merits it getting an 18 and this puts it in no mans land. It needed to be more gory to make it a worthwhile 18 or cut that one image to get a 15 and bring in those younger viewers. As it is it manages to do neither and not be suitable for either. There isn't enough gore to satisfy those horror fans who love the blood and guts and not enough tension or story to interest those who like their horror to be less visceral and more in the mind, scaring you with your own imagination of what you don't see rather than what you do.
That one seen would have lost it a lot of revenue and viewers in the cinema, and hopefully on DVD, as that is really the only thing that stops it being a more youth friendly 15 certificate which will bring in loads of kids just because it is a 15 and they can see it.
Story wise with the beautiful young backpackers it would find itself more happily ensconced with the 15 cert lightweight horrors that try desperately to get a 15 rather than the audience confining 18. This time around, much as I love seeing 18 films actually make it to the cinema these days (a rare occurrence) the rating belies the content of 99% of the film.
That said the story and plot is full of such complete crap it only really stands a chance of entertaining the most undemanding of viewers. Ones who don't mind a few topless shots and the complete stupidity of the main characters, I was literally jumping in my seat with frustration when they decide that walking god knows how far into a jungle to find a house in the middle of nowhere was a good idea.
Then I felt like punching the writers in the face when there is a long drawn out scene of them being shown a truly stunning underground cave formation by swimming through the cave system, a slightly perilous journey that is full of danger and tension. It is a great scene, one of the best in the film and you breathe a sigh of relief when they make it... only for them to walk out different way and rejoin their friends. Why the feck didn't they go in that way? Aaaaaaaarrrgh is the only response!
Paradise Lost is a mess from start to finish, its a whole storyline is very dubious and there are so many inconsistencies that it isn't even worth watching for a laugh. Avoid avoid avoid!
Director: John Stockwell
Running Time: 93 minutes
Release Date: 08/10/2007
Alex - Josh Duhamel
Pru - Melissa George
Bea - Olivia Wilde
Finn - Desmond Askew
Amy - Beau Garrett
Liam - Max Brown
Kiko - Agles Steib
Zamora - Miguel Lunardi
Arolea - Lucy Ramos
Camila - Andréa Leal
Jacare - Diego Santiago
Ranan - Marcao
Jamoru - Miguelito Acosta
Tulio - Jorge Neves
Annika - Olga Diegues
Sven - Gustav Roth
Extreme Edition: Never Before Seen In Cinemas.
The Bloody Truth Special Make Up Effects.
This film begins when a bus full of tourists crashes near a remote Brazilian beach beach town, And with the next bus not due for another three days the the tourists find themselves stranded. After some thought a small group of them decide to try to find somewhere local to stay for until they can catch the next bus and continue upon thier journey. The group stumble upon some more travellers in a bar on a nearby beach who inform them that for a small fee they would all be able to stay on the beach overnight. They decide stay on the beach and decide to start thier holiday early, with nothing but a bar and beach in sight a beach party sets off and the group are drugged and robbed by the locals.
When the group come round the next morning they realise that all of thier posessions are gone and to make matters worse when they go to report in the nearest town they get a less than hospitable welcome and the whole town turns against them, They finally find someone in the town who supposedly wants to help them to retrieve thier belongings and help them continue thier journey.
But the group soon find out that there are worse things than being robbed in this area of brazil as the guide betrays them and walks them straight in to a trap!
I thought this was a really well written a produced film which after a slow start kept me on the edge of my seat thoughout. The soundtrack wasn't that good but the setting for the film was perfect with the secluded pure white beach's and clear blue sea giving the illusion of safety and serenity to start with and as you get further into the film you will notice that conditions soon begin to worsen as the group enter a poverty stricken village and then a seemingly abandonded house in the middle of nowhere which adds to the intense atmostphere the film tries to create. All of the cast performed well and there were no particulaly cheesey cliche moments that you may have come to expect from this type of film. Fans of such films as hostel and wrong turn will really love this film.
Overall despite a slightly slow start and poor soundtrack this is definately a film worth watching as you will still be kept entertained throughout and are always trying to figure out what sort of deadly secrets this island has instore for the group.
Price & Availability:
This film is available for about £10 from Amazon, £9 on E-bay or £12 at HMV