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The Ruins (2008)

  Tags: Carter Smith, Jena Malone, Joe Anderson, Jonathan Tucker, killer plant, Laura Ramsey, paranoia, Shawn Ashmore, The Ruins, vacation

Your rating: None Average: 7.3 (3 votes)
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Carter Smith
91 minutes
Jonathan Tucker, Laura Ramsey, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson

Based on the novel by Scott Smith, who also served as writer, the film opened to modest numbers and mixed reviews. Despite its young familiar cast, the movie luckily received an R-rating, and rightfully-so, considering it has its fair share of violent and brutal, cringe-worthy scenes. I've never read the novel, but I hear it stays true to it, with only the ending and deaths and roles of the lead characters changed around a bit. I personally liked the movie. It was interesting and original, and was a fresh of breath air from all these lame mainstream Hollywood remakes.

The story basically follows a group of young vacationers, who are given their last couple days in Mexico to explore an ancient and newly-discovered Mayan temple. What seemed like a great idea at first has now turned into a nightmare, as the locals have shown up and decided to quarantine the group and force them to flee up the temple. With little hope of actually escaping with the locals now setting up camp below, they have to make due and hope that some means of rescue will eventually come their way. Unbeknownst to them, the seemingly harmless vines and plants on the temple begin to show signs of life and intelligence, and as the friends are slowly infected by these parasitic-like plants, paranoia ensues within the group.

Slow-paced, but interesting, the movie's main focus were the characters and the tense, dire situations they find themselves in. There are some small amounts of gore, but nothing over-the-top. Aside from a quick death around the beginning and a scene later on involving a man's legs, there's not much else. However, there's a lot of blood and knife-cutting scenes that will likely make viewers want to turn away. Probably the biggest asset the movie has to offer are the handful of pretty cringe-worthy scenes. The film still isn't without faults, as there were a few plot-holes apparent involving the group being stuck up on the temple. I can think of a couple ways they could have attempted to get off the thing, but the characters never attempted them.

A character-driven feature, the film offered a few cringe-worthy scenes and played a lot on the paranoia of the group. Interesting, and original, I found the movie to be an enjoyable viewing experience compared to most of the dribble Hollywood delivers now-a-days. Worth a check if you don't mind the slow-pacing.

Posted on September 6, 2010 - 7:43pm | FrighT MasteR