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Michael J. Reynolds,
Emily returns to her family's sheep farm in rural Pennsylvania after an affair with the politician who has fathered her baby. Doubted by the community she has returned to, she questions her... See full summary »
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 of revolvers, rifles and bows-and-arrows that kill Dimitri and do not allow the group to leave the place. They climb a construction covered of 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 ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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.
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