Paradise Lost (2006) starring Josh Duhamel, Melissa George, Olivia Wilde, Desmond Askew, Beau Garrett, Max Brown, Agles Steib, Miguel Lunardi directed by John Stockwell Movie Review

Paradise Lost (2006)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Melissa George and Josh Duhamel in Paradise Lost (2006)

Bikini Blood Bath

Originally known as "Turistas" but now known as "Paradise Lost", a much better title in my books, is a horror movie a completely derivative horror movie on so many levels. Take the obvious part where we have young tourists in a foreign country and lo and behold they fall prey to locals but it goes more derivative with the actual horror as we encounter an evil man harvesting organs. But that is not the end of it because "Paradise Lost" is directed by John Stockwell which like his preceding movies means we have men parading around with shirts off and attractive young women in bikinis. Does it offer up anything new well to be honest for me the answer is no and whilst delivering what I expected didn't manage to deliver anything to make it more memorable.

Whilst on holiday in Brazil tourists Alex, sister Bea and friend Amy meet fellow travellers Finn and Liam as well as experienced traveller Pru when the bus they are travelling on ends up in a traffic incident. With a long wait for another bus they head to a nearby beach where they discover a little piece of paradise with a bar and white sands and a friendly local called Kiko leading them to decide to stay there for the night as a party kicks off. But come the morning they wake up to discover that not only were they drugged but all their belongings have been stolen. As they try to make their way to a police station things take a turn for the worse and find themselves being taken to Kiko's Uncle's cabin which for an isolated cabin is strangely well equipped.

Desmond Askew and Max Brown in Paradise Lost (2006)

The simple way to explain "Paradise Lost" is to say take any horror movie where we have fun loving tourists who enjoy partying and going to remote places and then combine that with the gore of "Hostel". As such for the first half of the movie what we get are the tourists behaving like typical movie tourists who end up getting drunk, dancing sexy and in some cases having sex. We then get some drama as they find themselves stranded with nothing but what they are wearing which in some cases is just a bikini. And then we get the actual horror which is Kiko's Uncle and his organ harvesting which isn't a spoiler because the movie opens with a scene which already establishes this. It is basically a derivative storyline which eventually ends up with a desperate escape attempt where some of them die.

And when it comes to styling it is equally derivative not just in some typical horror scenes which include danger in under water caves but also because it feels like a typical John Stockwell movie. For those who have never seen a John Stockwell movie it means the camera lingers on scantily clad, attractive people especially young women in bikinis which whilst there is no denying Melissa George in a bikini is an attractive site does make it seem at times exploitative. Even when it comes to the big moments of horror it feels just as derivative and whilst some people may be shocked at the graphic nature of the horror it strangely did little for me, lacking a sense of maybe and just delivering a sense of finality.

The daft thing is that in truth all the actors do a good job be it Josh Duhamel as the permanently cautious Alex or Desmond Askew as the slightly annoying Finn. But because everything about "Paradise Lost" is derivative the performances can be easily missed especially when the characters are purely horror stereotypes.

What this all boils down to is that "Paradise Lost" isn't a bad movie but it is a derivative one which for me makes it ordinary. I am sure if your experience of horror movies is limited the graphic nature will shock and the lingering shots on bikini clad actresses will entertain but for those know there horror movies will end up feeling like they have seen it all before.