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The Ruins (2008)
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Review Date: July 08, 2008
Director: Carter Smith
Writer: Scott B. Smith
Producers: Chris Bender, Stuart Cornfeld, Jeremy Kramer, Ben Stiller
Actors:
Jonathan Tucker as Jeff
Jena Malone as Amy
Shawn Ashmore as Eric
Plot:
Two American couples are enticed to check out some ancient secretive Mayan ruins during their vacation in Mexico, after a German tourist gives them the 411 on the old-time digs. Once there, the kids realize that they’ve gotten themselves in way over their heads, when some locals show up with guns, people start dying and they’re stuck at the top of this prehistoric pyramid. Lots of plants, blood and deaths ensue. Not unlike a Friday night at the Arrow’s place.
Critique:
We’ve seen similar films to this before, we’ve traveled through other flicks in which a handful of American stereotypes drink and fuck their way through a faraway country, only to be taken in by an opportunity to “see something cool and unique”, only to wind up under a knife, or chased by baddies or drilled by foreigners, but at the same time…THE RUINS does its job as effectively as any other such film, and managed to keep my “been there, seen that” ass glued to the proceedings all the way through. A lot of that credit has to go to the screenwriter Scott B. Smith, the same man who wrote the popular book of the same name, as well as the actors, all of whom manage to bring realistic fear, frustration and dread to their respective parts. The director also keeps things moving at a nice clip (a buck and a half overall), while dropping new clues about their ominous circumstance every few minutes, so that we’re learning about the happenings at the same time as the characters. Of course, as per most horror movies, the audience does pick up on some of the creepiness before the characters (yeah dude…the plants are fucked up), but overall, the characters were pretty well developed and believable enough for me to stay engaged in their plight.

Oh, and if blood and gross bodily knife penetrations are your “thing”, the film has plenty of those as well, including one of the most shocking “leg scenes” since the great Jimmy Caan got his ankles busted by that crazy fat bitch in MISERY. In other words, if you’re a little squeamish, this film likely ain’t gonna figure into your top 10 at the end of the year. I enjoyed most of the picture, particularly its ending, which much like the rest of the movie, remained pretty dark and pessimistic. Again, if happy endings are what turn you on (no, not those kinds of “happy endings”, you perv), you might want to steer away from this unfortunate tale. Of course, if an effective horror movie featuring a handful of realistic characters caught up in an extremely unfortunate circumstance (in a foreign country to boot!) are your cup o’ spiked joe, you should definitely check into THE RUINS, especially if you’re home alone with a honey by your side, darkness all around and fear coursing through your bloated veins. By the way, was it me or did those “crazy plants” look a lot like marijuana? I don’t know. Maybe I’ve just been smoking too much of that shit lately. Either way, the film works but if that’s not enough for you to check it out, there’s an early tit shot in there as well…so there you go.
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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11:11PM on 12/22/2009
Nice! delivers a great take on the yooung tourists in peril plot.Jena Malone is an underrated hottie!
Nice! delivers a great take on the yooung tourists in peril plot.Jena Malone is an underrated hottie!
Your Reply:



4:17PM on 08/12/2009
bammer to me. vines r u serious. boo
bammer to me. vines r u serious. boo
Your Reply:



8:39AM on 07/09/2008

nice.

"handful of American stereotypes drink and fuck their way through a faraway country, only to be taken in by an opportunity to “see something cool and unique”, only to wind up under a knife, or chased by baddies or drilled by foreigners"

I loved that, great stuff and so true it could make you sick. ;)
"handful of American stereotypes drink and fuck their way through a faraway country, only to be taken in by an opportunity to “see something cool and unique”, only to wind up under a knife, or chased by baddies or drilled by foreigners"

I loved that, great stuff and so true it could make you sick. ;)
Your Reply:



8:46AM on 07/08/2008

Good film from great book!

Unlike most adaptions (not counting Darabonts) that are very bad compared to the books they originate from this film was faithful. The Ruins was a fantastic read and while the movie didn't change the face of horror - it was one of the best non-King screen adaptations in recent memory. Oh yea, the blood/gore...wow!
Unlike most adaptions (not counting Darabonts) that are very bad compared to the books they originate from this film was faithful. The Ruins was a fantastic read and while the movie didn't change the face of horror - it was one of the best non-King screen adaptations in recent memory. Oh yea, the blood/gore...wow!
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