a critiQal film review Turistas (2006)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: While on vacation in Brazil, several tourists are stranded after their bus crashes. Finding a nearby beach bar, they drink the night away - only to discover the next morning they have been drugged and robbed of all of their possessions. Stranded, they soon discover that the robbery was meant just to keep them there for the horrors yet to come.

674 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 22s)

It seems the success of movies like has caused the horror genre to pump out movies at a faster rate than ever. Every time I go to my Blockbuster® queue, I see so many horror movies still waiting for me to watch – and none of them much more than 2 years old at the latest.

Turistas is the latest horror flick I’ve received thanks to Blockbuster®. With so many horror movies out there now, each film needs to stand out more than ever, right? Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case lately, so I’m beginning to approach each new horror DVD with a bit of trepidation.

Is Turistas one of the good ones, or just another in a long line of cookie cutter horror films? That’s what I wanted to find out.

In most of the gore-filled horror flicks these days, acting isn’t exactly the high point of the film. Like the cheesy slasher flicks from the 80’s, most of these new actors just need to be able to let out blood-curdling screams and do their best to express as much agony on screen as possible as they get chopped into little bits.

With Turistas, however, that’s a little bit different. Sure, when the hack n’ slash begins, that’s what the acting is reduced to, but in this case, that hack n’ slash takes a long time coming. While this is good story-wise, since it gives the viewers a chance to connect better with the characters, it seems to backfire in this case.

Since Turistas has been hyped so much as a horror film, most viewers will do their best not to get involved in the characters. After all, since the viewer is well aware most of these characters are on-screen just to showcase some bloody deaths, they tend to avoid connecting with any of the characters as much as possible.

Despite that reservation, however, some of the characters do still connect decently with the viewer, most especially Melissa George (who’s has given her a bit of first hand knowledge of horror films).

Josh Duhamel also does a decent job of connecting with the viewers, but most of that is through face recognition as the viewers will easily connect him with the character he plays on “Las Vegas” – even if they aren’t a fan of the show.

The rest of the characters are not as easily memorable, and, due to the dark and stormy nature of most of the climactic scenes, are hard to notice even when they disappear from the picture.

Unfortunately, the director, giving viewers so much time to connect with the characters, leaves little time left for the true hack n’ slash to kick into high gear, so the moments horror fans have been waiting the entire film for seem a bit rushed…and slightly disappointing.

For all the time viewers have spent sitting through the film, the final sequences seem almost anti-climactic, and not half as scary as viewers have built up in their heads by that point.

Starting off with a good storyline that should send shivers down anyone’s spine (lost in a foreign country without a passport), the film wastes most of it by spending so little time on the consequences of this action – then wraps things up without even trying to explain a couple of major issues raised during the film.

The special effects, on the other hand, are frighteningly good. When the gore finally comes into play, it’s almost too realistic, and is enough to give most anyone the jitters. It’s just too bad those sequences are so few and far between.

Despite Melissa George (and to a lesser extent, Josh Duhamel) connecting with the audience, and despite a great setup, the film turns out to be lackluster at best in terms of thrills and chills. Sure, there are creepy moments – but with that kind of setup the viewer is expecting so much more.

Turistas probably won’t get many repeat viewers, and will be easily forgotten amongst the growing numbers of horror films.

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