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The Ruins (2008)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  4 April 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 57,769 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 348 user | 229 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist, embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle where something evil lives among the ruins.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Scott Smith)
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6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Balder Moreno ...
Patricio Almeida Rodriguez ...
Mario Jurado ...
Mayan Rifleman (as Luis Ramos)
Walter Quispe ...
Pauline Whyman ...
Wailing Woman
Nathan Vega ...
Mayan Boy


While on vacation in a resort in Mexico, the Americans Jeff, his girlfriend Amy, her best friend Stacy and her boyfriend Eric befriend the German Mathias in the swimming pool. Mathias invites the group to visit the ruins of a Mayan temple with his Greek friend Dimitri in an archaeological field where his brother Henrich and his girlfriend are camped eighteen kilometers from the resort. They hire an old taxi and when they reach the spot, they are surrounded by Mayan villagers armed with revolvers, rifles and bows-and-arrows that kill Dimitri and do not allow the group to leave the place. They climb a structure covered by creepers with red flowers, and remain under siege of the locals. When they hear a cell phone in the bottom of a well, Mathias decides to seek the apparatus using a rope that breaks and he has a serious accident breaking his back. Amy and Stacy go to the bottom of the mine to rescue Mathias and they find many corpses covered by the climbing plants; further, they realize... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Terror has evolved.


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and gruesome images, language, some sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

4 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las ruinas  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,003,241 (USA) (4 April 2008)


£123,507 (UK) (20 June 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Mayan temple was made up of three separate sets. The first was the facade overgrown with vines for the characters to walk up. The second was the top of the temple, where the majority of the film takes place. The third set was used for the underground shaft and tunnel scenes. Shots that show the entire temple from a distance were a blend of the sets and CGI. See more »


The scar on Jeff's chin changes throughout the movie. In the scenes where there are talking to Mayans, there looks to be a fresh cut there. In earlier parts of the movie, it looks like an old scar. See more »


[first lines]
Archeologist #2: [She is sobbing, then begins to scream:] Help me! Somebody, help! Somebody! Help! Help me!
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ashton Kutcher/Gnarls Barkley (2008) See more »


Solto O Frango
Written by Pedro D'Eyrot, Rodrigo Gorkys (as Rodrigo Gorky), Diplo (as Thomas Pentz) and Marina Vello
Performed by Bonde do Rolê
Courtesy of Domino Recording Co., Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A pretty good horror movie

Four American tourists agree to a trip into a South American jungle with a German tourist, to look at an ancient Aztec temple. Once they get there, they find themselves trapped on the temple by some locals. However, they begin to realize however, that they are keeping them there for a horrifying reason....

On the surface, this is yet another movie about American tourists getting into trouble in another country. However, unlike for example Paradise Lost, the Hostel movies, Wolf Creek, and such, the threat here is not from a human source, but something else. It's a refreshing change, but that is only one of the plus points in this good horror movie. There are many more.

The script, written by Scott B. Smith based on his own novel, is pretty good. The characters are well written, and the plot as it unfolds takes it's time to play out, which again is refreshing. Most American horror movies seem to want to rush through the opening scenes, to get to the so-called scare moments, but Smith takes time with his plot, as he did with his other script, the brilliant A Simple Plan. This movie isn't as good as that but it is still good. One of the key things is he never explains how or why the temple is doing what it is doing, yet you never really question it. He allows some intelligence in not only the characters but also in the audience watching. Again, a refreshing change.

The performances from the cast are good. The script allows time for the cast to make their characters believable (for a horror movie)and as the horror and terror mounts, they react in different ways.

The direction by Carter Smith is good. He creates a sense of dread as the the events play out. While the movie is not particularly scary, he creates a sense a good sense of dread, right up to the end, and also doesn't try and cop-out at the end, or allow for some awful twist. Again a welcome change.

The movie does have some scenes that are bloody, or graphic and gory, it's not over the top. There is a reason for the violence in the movie, and also the blood and gore. It's not simply there to gross-out the audience (though the scene with the makeshift amputation will have that effect, no doubt!!).

At a time when most of the American horror movies are either remakes or sequels, it's nice to see a horror movie that while not original at least is different. And for that reason alone, it's worth watching.

81 of 124 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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