Happy Friday the 13th! Anyone experiencing any spooky shenanigans today? In honour of such a date and for anyone looking to scare themselves silly with a horror film tonight, I’d like to recommend The Ruins.
5 twenty-somethings on holiday in Mexico decide to get off their tanned asses and go off the beaten path. What could go wrong? Death by serial killer or something a little more unusual? Try intelligent plant life that likes to chomp down on human flesh. This film is horrific, depicting the struggle of five people trying to survive what looks to be an increasingly hopeless situation. Warning: This is harrowing viewing.
Americans Jeff (Jonathan Tucker Veronika Decides to Die), his girlfriend Amy (Jena Malone Donnie Darko), Amy’s best friend, Stacy (Laura Ramsey The Covenant) and her boyfriend, Eric (Shawn Ashmore X-Men ) are approaching the end of their vacation in Mexico. They haven’t moved from the side of the pool all break, so when another German tourist Mathias (Joe Anderson The Crazies) invites them on a trip to see some newly discovered ruins of an ancient Mayan pyramid, the gang (with the exception of Amy) decide to do some sightseeing. Big mistake, huge! Jeff manages to convince Amy to join them. Oh dear, she should have stuck with her original decision.
The locals clearly aren’t fans of the pyramid and it seems to be a case of once you step inside the perimeter of the ruins you never leave again. Waving guns at the now terrified tourists and shooting dead Mathias’ pal Dmitri, Jeff and his gang are forced up the steps and onto the pyramid where they quickly realise their phones have no signal and they have very little water and food. The first real trouble begins when Mathias falls down a shaft. They soon learn why the ruins are off limits: the man-eating plant life.
Jonathan Tucker’s performance as med student Jeff provides a reliable presence as the horror continues to grow. As crisis after crisis occurs, he is the one who acts for the good of the group. One thing I was expecting but didn’t happen was for them all to turn on each other. Amy could probably be blamed for the entire mess, stupidly snapping pictures of the men with guns and stepping right into the plants and thereby sealing all of their fate. Then again, Amy would now be in a hotel safe if it hadn’t been for Jeff convincing her to go with him. Or all responsibility could be placed on Mathias for suggesting the outing in the first place. Instead, they work together for the most part.
Bleak, depressing but compelling, The Ruins is far from your average teen-oriented horror movie. It’s smart, grim and probably won’t appeal to the masses but if you missed this when it was first released four years ago, give this a shot. It’s well worth it. ****
Check it out on Amazon HERE