Monday, January 08, 2007

Turistas (2006)

Wan would-be gut-cruncher about a bunch of unlucky tourists in Brazil might as well be titled O Hospedaria, given how closely it hews to the template blazed by Hostel. Director John Stockwell pushes his blandly pretty cast through the paces with all the gumption and energy of a narcoleptic with a hangover; his muse only springs to life during the underwater photography sequences, maybe because he could pretend he was still making Blue Crush. There's something to be said about the fact that even an unambitious timewaster like this gives its villain a perverted social conscience and a patina of class resentment as his motivation (the Vietnam-era grindhouse/horror film refuses to die!), but beyond that Turistas is a blood-soaked marshmallow, offering nothing but quick-to-fade empty calories to less-discerning horror fans. (Even then, said fans might be cheesed at the noticeable dearth of violence and death -- this is the Natural Light to Eli Roth's Pabst Blue Ribbon.) If this were a food item, it would be one of those blue-and-white cans of unidentified edibles that populated Repo Man.

Grade: C


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