The Ruins was purchased because, thanks to the TV show The River, I developed a crush on Joe Anderson. It allowed me to purchase the wonderful The Crazies and despite my better judgement I also treated myself to The Ruins.
PLOT: Four American holidaymakers meet a German traveller looking for his brother. They agree to follow a map to a remote archaeological dig in the Mayan jungle in search for him. Deep in the jungle the group are trapped on some ruins by the local Mayan tribe but the longer they spend on the ruins the more they realise that it isn’t the locals they should be afraid of....... END PLOT
After a brief introduction to the characters The Ruins wastes no time in getting the group to the ruins. On a first glance it appeared that the local tribe were going to be the villains but we discover that the big bad of The Ruins is foliage. Yes, evil plants.
No matter how you try and sell it, the idea of people eating plants is more comical than scary. Luckily the filmmakers were aware of this and kept the death by vegetation concept as a background threat. This worked as it ramped up the psychological horror with paranoia and fear of the unseen becoming the main themes of the film. The Ruins was never scary but I couldn’t help feeling unsettled.
I have always maintained that I am not a huge fan of gore and blood in horror films. I am now at the stage that I am struggling to convince myself that this is true. The Ruins featured a fantastically graphic double leg amputation using only a small knife, a rock and a frying pan. Sometimes gore is unnecessary but when it is done well it deserves credit!
The effects didn’t rely on CGI which made the amputations and man vs plant battles all the more impressive. With a budget of $8million (IMDB) The Ruins can hold its head up high in that regard.
The cast is made up of familiar faces which includes Joe Anderson, Jenna Malone and Shawn Ashmore. The cast do a decent job of running around a very small ruin looking scared and dehydrated.
The Ruins is by no means a classic but I enjoyed it much more than I expected to. It gets 7.5/10. It is unlikely that I will view it again but it filled 90mins very well.