Sunday, 13 January 2008

Paradise Lost (nothing to do with John Milton)

This is one of those instances when watching a film you yourself whether you were watching the same movie as those people quoted on the front of the DVD box. Paradise Lost is described on the cover as the best horror film of 2007 and many of the reviewers on Amazon seem to agree. I do not.

For a start it didn't even count as a horror film for me. Yes I will admit it has some gory moments but it's plot is more of a thriller than a horror. I know that horror films do not have to have supernatural elements, one of the best horror films I have seen of late is Saw - it has no out of the ordinary elements whatsoever but what it does is play on some fairly widespread fears - claustrophobia for one.

Paradise Lost sees a group of thrill-seeking tourist types in the middle of nowhere in Brazil discover a bar, have lots of drinks and party only to wake up having been robbed. Then it decends almost into a morality play (albeit in scary mode) about organ harvesting on poor countries.

Now as a film in itself it is okayish. There is the usual problem for me of not liking any of the group particularly - especially the two Englishmen, they are just plain annoying. So when they are in danger I do not really care who lives or dies.

But I do not find it to be horror at all. There is violence, but there is violence in many straight thrillers. The plot is too centred in reality for me - too reasonable, too rational. We are not dealing with a madman who is convinced he is enacting vengeance (as in Saw) or wanting to eat people (Hannibal Lector) or who enjoys torturing for the sake of it (Hostel) or a unkillable serial killer type (Halloween).

As I mentioned it was okay. I just don't get other people's opinions on this one.

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