Review: Paradise Lost


Two words sum up this movie, Rip off.

A blatant attempt to ride the success of recent exploitation films such as Hostel ‘Paradise Lost’ adds about as much to the exploitation genre as the 100s of slasher cash-ins which followed Scream in the 90s is to the slasher genre.

In terms of plot film is definitely passable, but it’s pretty much identical to Hostel that it wasn’t in any way engaging. The film starts off with a group of young teens backpacking through Brazil, who, when their bus crashes think they have hit the jackpot when they find a small beach/bar complex near the crash site.  After a night of wild partying they wake up drugged to find all their stuff gone. They then place their trust in a Brazilian lad who speaks a little English who assures them that his uncle’s house in the jungle is the best place for them to seek help. But after a 10 mile hike they soon discover that the solitude of the house is intended to cover up a nasty little secret. No he doesn’t want people to order and then pay to kill them; he wants people to order and then to pay so he can harvest their kidneys. It sounds too familiar really doesn’t it?

This film could have been more passable if they had been lazy on the story to focus on violence but sadly there is very little of that either L.  The characters are pretty generic but you can relate to them a little. At the beginning they were funny enough but after a while they just started to piss me off. They began, as most clueless westerners do, rejecting their culture and wanting to attempt everything foreign no matter how ill-advised. One girl bragged that she visited everywhere they tell you not to, but when things go bad she starts to shit herself?! All of the others shouting ‘We love Brazil’ and announcing how ‘chilled out the people were’ being much better than that of their homeland they then start to get pissy saying how fucked up everything is despite the fact that quite frankly they got themselves in the shit! Foreign office advice is there for a reason!

So as the story went on, I got less and less supportive (I mean who the fuck walks 10 hours through the jungle, barefoot, without thinking it’s a stupid idea?) but nothing seemed to be happening. It takes pretty much a whole hour before we see any real gore. Although one guy looses a couple of fingers – that was gory.

By the time we do get to the gore, and the good doctor shows up we are only treated to one organ extraction. The effects are quite nice but organ gore in an operation is hardly difficult to do is it? – Trip to the butchers. Then to much disappointment the majority of the others escape only to be shot (boring deaths). Over all the last 30 minutes is quite an anticlimax and it did little to up my impression of the movie despite the odd bit of gore.

As far as the rest of the film goes it was passable, actors did the job well enough, the locations were nice and there were some pretty impressive underwater camera shots which were awesome.

Overall this film cuts so close to Hostel that quite frankly it just wasn’t worth watching. It’s a slightly weaker premise than hostel, the idea of the kidney heist didn’t seem as grimy as having rich people paying to have people abducted and killed. The plot was stretched and as a result the characters ended up making some really stupid decisions, and to top it off there was hardly any gore.  Paradise Lost? – it was never there.

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