Monday, October 17, 2011

The Ruins

Directed by Carter Smith
2008. Rated R, 93 minutes.
Jena Malone
Jonathan Tucker
Shawn Ashmore
Laura Ramsey
Joe Anderson
Sergio Calderon
Dmitri Baveas

Two young couples on vacation in Cancun decide to spend their last day in town with a fellow tourist at an archeological dig of an ancient Mayan site. Weirdness and bloodiness ensues.

It does a nice job building momentum as the situation gets more and more desperate. Having one of our heroes as a med student (Tucker) is a stroke of genius. He quickly tries to grab the mantle of leadership and often imposes his will on others as his "skill" is sorely needed for their survival. However, the others attempt to rebel giving us a nice Lord of the Flies type friction amongst them. Gore is used sparingly but very effectively. We also get a pretty nice ending.

How and why this particular place got to be this particular way is a completely unexplained mystery. Since we're talking about killer plants here, I don't think a scene of one of the local yokels explaining the history would be too much to ask. Instead, we get a faceless group that seems to be a tribe guarding the outskirts of the site. None of them speak the least bit of English and none of our heroes speak Spanish. Therefore, the disconnect meant to add to the horror is merely an inconvenience for the audience.

Horror fans should have a look because it's a solid entry into the genre. That's not to say it's a classic or even remotely close to being one but I found it enjoyable.

MY SCORE: 6.5/10

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