The Ruins (2008)


The Ruins gets bonus points for pulling off a potentially ridiculous concept with serious punch. It never exceeds its foundations as a B-movie in terms of performances or script, but conceptually it is very strong. A bunch of (dumb) vacationing students end up visiting a Mayan ruin and become trapped there when the violent locals refuse to let them leave. It soon turns out there’s something far worse at play: killer vines!

Now shake all memories of The Happening – the other man v. nature movie from 2008 – out of your head and bare with me. Unlike that movie, The Ruins knows its tone and treats the material very seriously while simultaneously embracing the genre elements. There are a lot of genuinely icky moments here and the logic and “rules” of the killer vines is consistent and always developing in surprising ways. Sure the special effects are a little cartoony but the effects still work. There are moments of full-blown body horror, DIY surgery as well as a strange sexual aspect, all of which are utilised to scare you in fresh ways.  It’s refreshing terrain for a horror movie, where sunlight and architecture are more oppressive than shadows and interiors. Honestly, by the end you won’t be able to look at a bunch of weeds in the same way again. Oh and Jena Malone is in it too.

This entry was posted in Movies Watched In 2016, Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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