Ahh, it is the end of the month and at the same time, the end of a letter. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I particularly care for today’s movie. I remember seeing the previews for this movie and honestly, was not the least but interested in going to see it. You might be asking why I have a copy of it when I didn’t care to see it. Well, the explanation for that is pretty easy; I am a sucker for free movies. So when someone is clearing out their DVD collection and offers some of them to me, of course I am going to say yes. Thus I find myself owning today’s movie, Turistas.
The plot: Alex, his sister Bea, and their friend Amy are riding in a bus in Brazil, with Alex complaining that the should have flown to the Northeastern Beaches instead. When the bus attempts to pass a slow moving scooter, the driver is forced to swerve to avoid hitting some people on the other side of the road and the bus ends up teetering on the edge of the cliff. Alex yells for everyone to climb out of the bus and they safely do so before it topples over the edge and goes crashing down the hillside. As they go picking through the wreckage to find their belongings, they meet Finn and Liam, two British backpackers and Pru, an Australian who speaks Portuguese. Pru tells them that the next bus won’t be by for several hours so they sit by the side of the road to wait for it. As they are waiting, Bea takes a picture of a local boy eating some fruit but this upsets some of the native Brazilians. Pru attempts to calm things down, then explains that kids have been having their organs stolen for sell on the black market and it has the locals nervous when someone takes pictures of children without permission. Seeing two girls walking by with drinks, Pru speaks with them and learns that there is a bar down by the nearby beach and, deciding it best to keep some distance from the still angry locals, they decide to head there. When they get there, they head out onto the beach and swim for a while before they head to the bar and get some drinks. While there, they encounter another couple, Svend and Annika, who had ridden a motorcycle down from Mexico and they all decide to spend the night on the beach and catch the next bus in the morning. Meanwhile, the bartender calls a doctor named Zamora and tells him of the 8 “gringos” on the beach and he hires a couple to take care of them. That night, the group is partying on the beach with Kiko, a local teen who had befriended them, when they all end up passing out. Waking up, Alex discovers that they were all robbed and probably drugged the night before. Meanwhile, Svend and Annika are shown to have been captured by some men and carried off into the jungle. When the men stop to take a break, Annika manages to slip her restraints and tries to run away and Svend attempts to stop the men from chasing after her but he is killed by one of the men with a machete while another man chases after Annika, who ends up losing her footing and falling to her death off the cliff. Alex and the others make their way back to the crash site and continue walking along the road until they come to a nearby village and try to find the police. As they are looking around, Alex notices Svend’s motorcycle and he and Pru attempt to get information about it. Meanwhile, Bea and Amy notice a kid wearing Alex’s hat and they call out to the kid. When the kid runs, Liam and Finn chase after him and Liam throws a rock at the kid, which hits him in the head. As Alex and the others meet up with them, the villagers start crowding around and angrily yelling at Liam. Kiko shows up and attempts to calm the situation down, then tells Alex and the others to follow him. He tells them that he knows of a secluded home that his uncle owns where they can stay until the bus shows up the next day. Meanwhile, Zamora meets with the men he hired, who tell him that Kiko is bringing the group to the cabin and Zamora reminds the men that he wants them alive, as they are no use to him if they are dead like Svend and Annika, killing one of the men in the process. Back in the jungle, Kiko stops at a waterfall and tells the group he knows of some underwater caves and wants to show them, Jumping off the falls and telling the others to follow him. Alex, Pru, Bea, and Finn walk along the rocks and then follow Kiko into the water but Amy and Liam choose to stay behind. Diving underwater, Kiko leads them underneath the falls, stopping at breathing spots along the way, until they come to an underwater cave. As they swim around, Kiko gets a strange look on his face and says that they should head back to the village, saying it will be safer and he can find them a ride out of there but refuses to say why he has changed his mind so the others insist on heading to the house as it is closer. Returning to Amy and Liam, who are caught making out, the group goes for one last swim when Kiko, showing Finn how to dive off the rocks, ends up hitting his head on a rock in the water, cutting his head open. Realizing they have to get him some help, Alex and the others make their way to the house and look for something to tend to Kiko’s injuries. Finn finds a medical staple gun and uses it to close up the wound and afterwards, Kiko gets up and walks off. The group decide to spend the night at the house but are woken in the middle of the night by a helicopter arriving nearby and Kiko’s uncle, Zamora arrives with several people. As Kiko rapidly speaks to Zamora in Portuguese, Zamora’s nurse tells Alex that they should run now, as Zamora has plans for them, Zamora dismisses Kiko, who leaves the house despite Alex and the others asking what is going on and when Zamora’s men grab Pru and Amy, Alex tries to stop them and ends up getting slashed in the back with a machete. Alex, Pru, Bea, and Liam are placed in dog cages outside while Amy and Finn are placed on operating tables. Zamora approaches and explains that Americans have exploited his people and land for years and now they exploit them by taking the organs from the poor in order to avoid waiting for lines on the transplant list so he decided to even the odds. Zamora proceeds to operate on Amy, removing her liver and kidneys but she ends up dying on the table. Meanwhile, Alex manages to get his knife out of his back pocket and manages to pass it to Bea, who cuts him free and then he does the same to her and the others. When Zamora sends one of his men to bring in another girl, they attempt to fight back and are helped by Kiko, who kills the guard. Alex tells Pru and Bea to head to the water fall while he and Kiko get Liam free, who says they have to rescue Finn. As they make their way inside, one of Zamora’s men, armed with a crossbow, finds the empty cages and reports it on his walkie talkie, then heads out into the woods, chasing after Pru and Bea. Meanwhile, Zamora is cleaning up after harvesting Amy’s organs and has his nurse prep Finn for surgery but Liam gets inside the house and manages to rescue him. As they attempt to escape, they are chased Zamora’s other man, and they use a hook to incapacitate him so they can escape. The man frees himself, then shoots Finn in the head and when Liam turns and begins shooting back at the man, he is shot as well. Zamora stops the man from killing Alex and Kiko, saying he needs them alive, and they quickly grab Liam’s body and drag him inside in an attempt to salvage what they can. Alex and Kiko run into Bea, who had gotten separated from Pru during the night, and they make their way to the underwater caves, where they find Pru hiding. Alex then starts to fight with Kiko, blaming him for Amy, Finn, and Liam’s deaths as he knew what was going to happen. Zamora and his men appear at the second entrance to the cave and start shooting at the group, injuring Alex and killing Kiko. Alex tells Pru and Bea to head back through the caves and Zamora sends the man with a crossbow into the water after them while he and the other man circle around the other way. Alex leads Pru and Bea through the underwater caverns but Bea gets separated from them as the man continues after them. Making their way to the various breathing holes, Bea and the killer end up at the same breathing hole and as they struggle with each other, Bea grabs a crossbow bolt from the man and stabs him in the neck, killing him. Alex finds Bea and brings him back to where Pru is and they attempts to leave only to find Zamora waiting for them there. Hiding behind some rocks, Alex manages to sneak up and attack Zamora, striking him repeatedly in the head with a rock before Pru and Bea stop him. When Zamora’s man shows up with his rifle, Zamora orders him to kill them but Pru pleads with him not to do what he says as he treats him so poorly. When Zamora calls the man a coward, the man shoots Zamora, then stares at Alex, Pru, and Bea before turning around and leaving. Alex, Pru, and Bea make their way down the river where they come to a village, and the villagers take them in and tend to their wounds. Some time later, the three are standing in line to board a plane and when he hears a couple behind him contemplating taking the bus, Alex turns and tells them to take the plane before boarding and the three fly away from the horrors they experienced.
Turistas was mostly panned by the critics, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Beautiful scenery and cinematography can’t save Turistas from its wooden acting and stale and predictable plot.” In one of the underwater scenes, Olivia Wilde (Bea) is supposed to be panicking because she couldn’t find an air bubble. This actually was real, as Wilde missed her mark and couldn’t find the pocket and the safety divers were too far away to get there but she eventually found the pocket. The movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $14.7 million off of a $10 million budget.
Slow, boring, and almost predictable. That’s about the best description I have for this movie. The acting was ok but I think Melissa George (Pru) was the only one to really stand out in my opinion, but a part of me feels like that was due to her being able to speak Portuguese. The story was interesting, albeit not entirely original, and while I did like them playing up the whole people being harvested for their body organs story, I felt like they took too long to actually get there. I mean, Zamora doesn’t show up and capture the kids until about an hour into the movie, making the last half hour feel really rushed. I will say the special effects weren’t too bad regarding the gore from Amy’s surgery and some of the other bloody scenes, and there was a fair amount of drama at the end to make up for the slow start. It’s not as bad as the critics say but it’s still not the best horror movie out there.
Rating: 2 out of 5