So if you dont know the score by now, groups of attractive teenagers should NEVER go on holiday to a secluded/foreign resort. However, gone are the days when a psychotic killer in a hockey mask was the only thing to contend with, nowadays there are far more sinister and organised evils in the world.
Taking its influence from "Hostel", Paradise Lost sets about telling its story of a group of sexy somethings who are on a pleasure seeking holiday (one of whom is instantly recognisable as Melissa George, one of whom is instantly forgettable due to his awful cockney accent!) and these kids are there for one thing... FUN! Pure, unadulterated, booze induced fun!
This is the films first problem. It decides to take some forty odd minutes building up character and showing our kids partying the night away before waking up with a little bit of a problem.
However, seeing as the characters are woefully shallow, it's an odd decision to merely spend that amount of time with them when no real depth, empathy or likeability (apart from the ones you will fancy of course!) beyond their penchant for endless swimming and drinking.
The films second problem is its stalking, encroaching evil menace that we know is on the horizon. Nowhere near foreboading enough and with only one scene to sketch out two members who are unhappy with their grisly task(why?) and the leader who has a slightly short fuse when it comes to being irritated (which is disregarded later on when we see him at "work" with our protagonists).
Sadly, by the time our lovely tribe of sexy somethings begin their hike though the jungle, theres plenty of scenery and good looking bodies on show to make the film pleasing, but it forgets its a horror film and starts to make the mistake of not making the environment hostile, secluded and creepy enough to pull the viewer into a world where these people are hopelessly lost.
Anyway, when the horror starts its sufficiently nasty and gory to make even the hardest gore hound happy but it comes with a tinge of anti climax and "which one of them is that?" syndrome.
However, the closing chase sequence through caves, rivers and forest is actually incredibly well executed and makes for some thrilling viewing and very pulse pounding claustraphobia. Just a shame that, due to some out of place editing, your left a little confused at times of whos who and where!
Overall an average film. And the real irony is that this film rips off the ideas of Hostel, hoping no one will notice, and doesnt get away with it because it encompasses all of Hostels flaws (pacing, character, unsatisfactory sense of menace pervading the film). Yet if it had taken its influence from Hostel and instead rectified what didnt work in that film, then Paradise Lost could have been a very taught, dark thriller that had some very appropriate tones of modern day fears.
Minus or keep the third star of the rating depending on your enjoyment, just be prepared not to add another!