Pros: I suppose it may teach someone a valuable lesson about being careful in another country.
Cons: Lacks the cunning of Saw films and the brutality of Hostel.
At our core, the barbaric side of all of us is what draws us to watch these sort of movies. While boogeymen and ghosts no longer scare us, the reality of murder, aggression, and torture do. This fascination has lead to the rebirth of the slasher genre and saturated the horror landscape with lackluster movies such as this one. I openly admit that the only two reasons I watch such films are (a)to see some sick and cruel twist in the end or (b) see people die in gruesome and creative ways. Sadly, Turistas offers neither.
Set in Brazil, Turistas is a story of a handful of tourists who wander off the beaten path and find themselves hunted by a rag-tag group of thugs in the jungle. The group (made up of a combination of Americans and Europeans to add diversity) make one bad decision after another and are ultimately lead to the home of the gang's ringleader who has plans to remove the organs from our heroes and sell them on the black market.
Now, when watching a movie such as this one, I have come to accept that character development and acting come second to the violence and setting so there tends to be a little leeway. However, despite this usual setback, in great horror/slasher movies you can still find a way to identify with and even care about the antagonists. But, in this film, there is very little to know about these people as they are just thrown together and all wander around with reckless abandon as one doomed unit.
Billed as worse than Hostel and Saw combined, Turistas promises to make you squirm in your seat as acts of torture are acted out upon people in vivid and horrible ways. To be honest with you, this movie wasn't grotesque or scary at all and the violence is actually quite tame. These nerve-racking and shudder-inducing moments you enter the theater hoping for are reduced to mundane deaths and scenes that you'd find in any action or war movie as people merely fall off cliffs, are shot in the back, hit with a shovel, or are hacked with a machete off camera. Creative stuff, yeah? In fact, the dissection treatment only occurs once and it really isn't all that bad as the victim is heavily sedated and mostly moans as if they are having a bad dream.
The only positive I can glean from this film is that it may educate the few people who see this on the dangers of not being careful in another country and I got the impression that this is what they are trying to drive home. But, all in all this movie lacks the cunning of Saw and the brutality of Hostel. Instead of intensity and heart pounding thrills, you are left with an uninspired movie with an unceremonious and abrupt ending that leaves you wondering what just happened.