Tuesday, October 09, 2012


(2006) ***
I was kind of surprised by this so-called Hostel ripoff. I've never seen Hostel, so that wasn't going to bother me anyway, but I was prepping myself for some of that "torture porn" that I don't really like. Well, this ain't it. I'm guessing either this isn't really a Hostel knockoff, or neither of them are really torture porn. Or maybe torture porn is just a hyperbolic shock term.

Whatever. I ended up mostly enjoying this predictable little thriller. And that's saying something. I went in thinking I'd hate it regardless because it starred Josh Duhamel, who just seems like he begs to be called Josh Douche-hamel. Seriously, what a bag this guy looks like:
But he didn't really ruin much here. To be fair, he's mostly running around in the dark for the 2nd half of the movie, so there's not much acting required, but even early on, he's only slightly annoying.

Plus the ample shots of 3 cuties in Brazilian bikinis offer plenty of eye candy before the killing starts.

Oh, the plot you ask? A group of gringo tourists in Brazil are kidnapped by some psycho native doctor who wants to harvest their organs to give to the poor children. So it's sort of a feel good Robin Hood tale, in a way. But really, that's where I don't get the "torture porn" label applied to this movie. There's no torture at all (and way too little porn). One gory scene in which he removes the a kidney and liver is closer to Chicago Hope than it is to, say, Walking Dead (which is gorier than this movie).

Really, this movie is a captivity/escape thriller. The kids escape from the pissed off postcolonial doctor's house and run off into the dark rain forest. This leads to a really tense chase through underwater caves that totally gave me the willies. I almost can't watch shows about spelunking, as it just seems like such a horrible way to spend one's time. Not to mention terrifying. So seeing them swim around searching for air really prodded my fear instinct where I don't like to be prodded. Yikes.

All that said, it's not a great movie by any stretch. It takes it's sweet time getting to the suspense stuff, and most of that is stupid "let's all do shots and dance on the beach" crap. Some of the minor characters are throwaways who add little (especially the hot friend whose only purpose seemed to be that she'd take her top off). Ok, so that's legit I guess.

Anyway, despite some of the hype, I really don't think this is one that would even unsettle our resident biddies.


Octopunk said...

Hostel is definitely torture porn, but I think the connection here is "vacationers in a foreign land being slaughtered for profit," which only makes the torture porn cut if they're being, you know, tortured. Is the unwilling kidney and liver donor awake for it?

Excellent observation on Josh Douchamel. Whatever with that guy.

Catfreeek said...

That is the douchiest picture ever. I remember watching this years ago and being less than impressed with it.

JPX said...

This was definitely a rip-off of the far superior Hostel fims but still enjoyable nonetheless. I too was holding my breath during the underwater climax!

DCD said...

I completely agree about the cave diving stuff, willies city. Even though it's "safe" enough for us biddies I'll think I'll skip it. I don't get that many movies in anyway, I'd rather not deal with any that have Douchamel!

AC said...

yeah, sounds like a pleasant surprise, but not good or bad enough to capture my interest.

Trevor said...

That spelunking/claustrophobia stuff is part of what made The Descent so good. Maybe they were trying to do a Hostel meets The Descent kind of thing.

50PageMcGee said...

this review makes me think that octo should add an event to the Thon 10-day countdown next year: "What's too far for you?" or "Where do you not like your horror movies to go?"

Trevor said...

Rape. Rape is too far for me. It's not entertaining.

Totally ruined The Hills Have Eyes for me. (Well, a lot of things ruined that).

I recently went to a musical - Man of La Mancha. And a woman gets raped in the corner of the stage while they sing a song about it. How in the world did this become a popular musical while they're singing a song about rape while it happens. It was messed up.