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The Ruins (2008)

Review: written May 2010

Tense and somewhat gory thriller that might grow on you…

The Ruins (2008)

There's plenty here we've seen before - young good looking American 20-somethings with horrible things happening to them, and we the audience wondering which if any will survive. However, it's done in such a way as to adequately build some genuine tension, and along the way build some characters which may not be exactly likeable, but are at least believable. At least we start to care if they survive, which makes this a cut above others of this ilk. In this movie, they naively take a detour from their beach `n' booze vacation to explore some Mayan ruins which mysteriously do not appear on any of the maps. When they arrive at the vegetation covered ruins, they find themselves quarantined by some particularly belligerent natives, and things quickly deteriorate as they begin to realise the natives have good reason to be afraid of the Ruins, and of never letting a soul leave alive.

The Ruins (2008)

The director does not overplay the gore (even though it IS in places gory) and it plays for the most part as a survival pic. If the movie is in genre terms routine, it has some plusses.. the little known cast do a decent job, and the maguffin they are scared of is kind of a neat idea, even if somewhat stretching the realms of believability. The scenes that work best are the claustrophobic scenes with the relationships between the friends believably unravelling as the threat and tension mounts. If the horror element is too tame for horror fans, but a little strong for a more mainstream audience, the sugar that makes the pill go down is when you take this as a character piece.. that's when it works best.

Somewhat of an oddity then, this is not without merit... if you've seen the trailer though, you probably know most of what happens. Worth a rent.

The Ruins (2008)

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