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The Ruins (Review)

The Ruins

The Ruins (2008)

Directed by Carter Smith

I'm a big Jenna Malone fan. Let's get out of the way first. She was awesome in Donnie Darko, Saved and here in the Ruins.

But alas, the Ruins is well another horror movie that will be placed in the used DVD bin soon enough.

It wasn't great, it wasn't bad. It just was.

Was what you may be asking?

It's another movie where white American tourists make trouble for the indigenous local inhabitants and get themselves killed.

Fuckin white teenagers always get into shenanigans and go where they're not suppose to.

Local guy says: "Don't go to the secluded beach"
White kids go to the beach......and die.

Local guy says: "Don't go to abandoned house"
White kids go to the abandoned house.....and die.

Local guy says: "Don't go to the ancient Mayan ruins"
White kids go to the ruins......and die.

Fuck em. They got what they deserved right? They never fuckin listen.

But as I kept watching, I gotta admit that from the trailer you'd think the movie is about a cursed Mayan pyramid or killer trees or plants but actually its about putting a couple of white American tourists in an impossible scenario and seeing how they'd react.

It's like watching mice in a maze. And that's why it's worth the watch.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

A group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

Let's just start by saying that Jena Malone in a bikini may have been worth the price of admission or rental or torrent download (whichever method you prefer). She plays Amy, the resident Jennifer Love Hewitt of the 4 Spring Breakers. She and her best friend Stacey (Laura Ramsey) with their boyfriends Jeff (Jonathan Tucker) and Eric (Shawn Ashmore) are in Mexico doing the MTV spring break thing.

They meet a German tourist Mathias (Joe Anderson) who tells them about some ancient ruins. Of course they go down the non touristy path and end up at the ruins where the local Mayan community aint thrilled with seeing them.

Like Manifest Destiny, they go and explore the ruins. Little do they know that when they have contact with the plants, it "infects" you. You'd think the Mayans would post a sign in Spanish and shit.

The locals force our turistas to stay on the temple, threatening to kill them if they do.

So we get our plant vs man encounters. National Geographic never had an episode about this. These fuckin plants are nuts. They can mimic ringtones, voices and even sex!

Did Apple or Microsoft grow these things?

Soon its gets all horrificly bad, you'd hope they had a weed wacker or some shit. Some 2 unscheduled surgeries occur. A leg amputation will make gore hounds rejoice and some tape-worm-ish plant wiggles are kinda icky.

Ending (seems there are 2 alternates on the DVD) is a bit cliched but how could you really end a movie about killer plants?

The Ruins is 90 minutes that are paced well. Lots of downtime with some mindless talking but the uptime is where it's at.

At times you can try to empathize with the characters and it's psychologically exhausting. Would you wait for help or concieve a plan and execute it. If some freakin plant virus was mutating in you, would you wait to die or go all suicidal?

The movie raises some intriguing questions and that's where the true horror comes in. Not the fucked up Windows plants or the hostile tribe, but the decisions we make for our own survival.

But alas, as I said before, these American "The Hills-like" teenagers got what they deserved for not listening. They should have been shopping at Hollister and Pacific Sunwear, but instead they got massacred by some vines.

Plants 1
Dumb American white teenagers 0

Yay plants.



Influences

Turistas
The Happening
Little Shop of Horrors
I Know What You Did Last Summer 2


Gore-ipedia (if you want to be shocked don't read)

Gunshot to the head
Leg amputation plus soldering
Bone smashing
Knife surgery
Dead bodies
Knife to the heart
Arrow trauma
Child trauma
Plant infection in body trauma


Nude-ipedia (because you like boobies)

Jena Malone's bikini
Laura Ramsey's boobies and ass


WTF moment

Did I not just say the plants can mimic ringtones, voices and even sex!

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

Is the Ruins worth the time and effort? Yeah I'd think so. I wasn't bored and it goes by pretty quickly. Jena Malone and the cast give good performances. And it's got some decent moments that got the horror juices flowing. But even after watching mice do experiments, you get bored. And that's when you check to see what else is in the used horror DVD bin.

Rating:
1/2

The Trailer:


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I still need to write my review for this, but I pretty much agree with your take on it as a film. I read the book about a year ago, and thought it was one of the best horror novels in years. It really takes you into the head of all these characters, as they completely break down. It's a total mind-fuck of a read.

So, I was able to bring all those character motivations into the film, which made it much better. Without that, the film definitely suffers. Although I do think they managed to make the plants fairly creepy, something I didn't think they'd be able to pull off on film. I also dug the over-the-top gore effects, the highlight of the film.

I've always liked Jena Malone, been following her since Contact, when she played a young Jodie Foster. (And didn't mind seeing her in a bikini.)

-Ross
What I Watched Last Night

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