Paradise Lost

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/05/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time:
93 mins

Smartly acted, decently made horror flick that attempts to justify its gorier moments with a little bit of politics.

What's it all about?
Josh Duhamel and Olivia Wilde play Alex and Bea, a brother and sister touring through Brazil with Bea's friend Amy (Beau Garrett). However, when their bus crashes, they find themselves stranded near an idyllic tropical beach along with a handful of fellow tourists, including a couple of Brits (Desmond Askew and Max Brown) and an Australian girl (Melissa George).

At first things don't seem so bad and the tourists party with the locals, drinking and dancing the night away. However, when they wake up, they discover that they have all been robbed and it soon turns out that the natives have something far nastier in store for them.

The Good
Director John Stockwell shot the film (previously known as Turistas) entirely on location in Brazil, which adds considerably to the atmosphere, particularly as it's easy to identify with the vulnerability of being stranded in a remote location without money or identification. Stockwell also maintains a high level of tension throughout, even when the film essentially degenerates into a stalk and slash flick.

The performances are mostly fine with ex-Grange Hill actor Desmond Askew the stand out amongst his blander, better looking co-stars, largely because he's the only one allowed to be funny. Unsurprisingly, the film isn't above forcing its stars to spend the entire movie either shirtless or in a bikini, thanks to that old standby of having their clothes stolen.

The Bad
To be fair, when the gory scenes eventually arrive, there is actually a point to them, rather than the gratuitousness of something like Hostel. However, despite the validity of the film's political point, the gore may still be too strong for the weaker stomached.

Worth seeing?
Paradise Lost is a decently made horror flick with impressive location work and an attractive cast. At the very least it'll make you rethink your Brazilian holiday. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 20/11/2019 02:28

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