Rated R for strong violence and gruesome images, language, some sexuality and nudity.
Directed By: Carter Smith
Written By and Based on the Novel By: Scott B. Smith
Staring: Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Jonathon Tucker, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson, Sergio Calderon, and Dimitri Baveas
We’re being quarantined here. We’re being kept here to die. -Amy
Why is it so many romantic comedies would better serve in the horror genre and so many horror movies would better serve in the comedy genre? Twenty minutes into “The Ruins”, I was certain I had misread the synopsis, and misjudged the previews. This was clearly a laughing matter. Who would make something so ridiculous into a movie? I haven’t read the book so I’m not sure what terror plagued it, but it clearly wasn’t a stretch since the writer was also responsible for the tragic screenplay. What followed was surely terror, but not the kind one would anticipate.
The Ruins at least had what Deep Blue Sea lacked for me: an absolutely hysterical plot. Possessed or killer vines, YES VINES, are out to get the universe, but only the universe surrounding the mystic ruins of an ancient Mayan temple. The locals are aware of these vicious vines that are responsible for the disappearance of an unknown amount of tourists. These natives somehow prevent the spread of the vines expansion into their jungle. OK, so no Blob effect, it doesn’t get bigger with the more it eats, it just acquires more accessories and singing lessons. What a proactive killer jungle. Accessorizing while doing it’s killing, it’s nearly Project Runway.
The thinking part of my brain told me to hate everything about this movie, but like Lake Placid, I just found myself laughing too often at it’s sheer lunacy. There is very little plot developed for the nonsensical story, but if you accept their situation as even remotely conceivable, things only continue to get less plausible. When you think it can’t get more ridiculous, it simply does. In this conceived world these killer vines can be contained by an electric collar. The local tribe members are conveniently expert archers and marksmen, who are wise to the fact that carrying loads of salt will contain the vines in case the electrical collar doesn’t work. Americans are portrayed as moronic, and clearly lacking the need for clothing as everyone is mostly naked. If this doesn’t make a load of sense to you, it doesn’t get any clearer by watching the movie. These are the things I know of these “Ruins”, and I can’t convey it with anymore lucidity than that.
The Ruins turned out to be the best comedy, and worst horror film I’ve seen in a long time. I’m certain brains cells simply fried themselves from the exposure, which could explain why I laughed so much, but by the end of it’s short 93 minutes it’s pretty boring anyway. The corny ending allowed for a good slap across the forehead, with a disturbed shake of the head. I’m simply unsure how this concept got a green-light, but that’s why I’m writing from my laptop in Detroit instead of a suite in New York or Chicago. Chuckles or no, this was a bad one. The Verdict? Everything about this movie is stated in it’s title: RUIN