Originally called ‘Turistas’, this proficient but utterly predictable horror movie has been lazily lumped together with ‘Hostel’ and ‘Wolf Creek’. Yet its tale of naive twentysomethings on holiday in the danger zone is closer in tone to ‘The Beach’ – it even features some cave-swimming scenes lifted from Alex Garland’s novel which never made it into Danny Boyle’s film. When a local bus crashes and leaves them stranded, six backpackers – three Americans, two Brits and an Aussie – stumble upon an idyllic Brazilian beach. Following a hedonistic night of excess which leaves them hung-over and robbed, a friendly local boy guides them up the jungle path to his surgeon uncle’s luxurious house. Despite the familiar plot and uneven performances, John Stockwell’s confident direction generates some mild excitement. The hints of social comment, however, remain just that – cursory nods towards a political conscience. For all its sub-‘Deliverance’ primitivism and visceral unpleasantness, the film ultimately lacks guts.
Cast and crew