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The Ruins
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The Ruins More at IMDbPro »

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227 out of 344 people found the following review useful:

Damn Good.

9/10
Author: deadite11987 from United States
3 April 2008

I wasn't too psyched for this movie beforehand, but I got a free pass and figured why the hell not and wound up seeing one of the better horror films I've seen in a good while. Thes best thing I can say about "The Ruins" is that it plays its hand honestly, there's no tweeny BS, no winking at the camera, it's just a classic situational horror film that just keeps getting from bad to worse in the best possible way. Like I said, I got in for free and I kinda feel like I owe 'The Ruins" 10 bucks. But as a small caveat, I saw this film with a bunch of pretentious jackasses sitting behind me and surprise surprise, they didn't like it. So if you fall into that category than do yourselves and anyone who can enjoy a straight shot horror film a favor and stay away.

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154 out of 206 people found the following review useful:

Got Under My Skin

8/10
Author: flyroundee from Canada
19 April 2008

I wasn't expecting too much going to see this, but knowing that it was an adaptation from a novel I figured it had to be a decent story at least. I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely wasn't your average 'horror' film, if you want recycled bullshit go see the travesty that is Prom Night. This is different. It literally got under my skin at a few parts and made me squirm, and that pretty tough to do to me. The story resembled a Stephen King-esquire short story. It was grim, unpleasant, and gory. It didn't use conventional scare tactics (which are so overdone these days) but used a tone of dread and hopelessness to get to the viewer. Check it out if your looking for that type of film, cheers

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130 out of 172 people found the following review useful:

Not great, but something different

7/10
Author: sgtking from United States
12 April 2008

Are you as tired of seeing remakes and movies about the undead as I am? Well then here's something a little different. Not original, but a change of pace. I haven't read the book, but the trailer looked good and so did the cast list. Plus instead of young people being done in one by by zombies, vampires, or a masked slasher it's a variation on the old man vs. nature idea, something not seen much recently and certainly not with so much blood and gore.

Pros: A talented and likable young cast. The scenery is lush and beautiful, as is the cinematography. Instead of just jumping right into the horror, the filmmakers try to create suspense and a little build-up. Moves at a pretty good pace. Plenty of moments and images that'll make you cringe. Impressive gore and make-up effects, and plenty of the former. A good and subtle score that sounds like a creepy rumbling sound at times.

Cons: As good as the actors are, the characters they play are pretty underwritten, which makes it hard to really get to know them. The CGI is pretty poor. There's really nothing we haven't already seen before. Sometimes the characters do really stupid things. A few cheap boo scares.

Final thoughts: Not likely to be the best horror film of the year, but you could do much worse. It's nice to see a horror film that isn't so flashy, teen-friendly, and devoid of suspense, which is exactly what the remake of 'Prom Night,' which hit theatres a week after this, looks like. But I know you hardcore horror buffs know better than that.

My rating: 3.5/5

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91 out of 129 people found the following review useful:

The Day of the Triffids with Cabin Fever

7/10
Author: Kashmirgrey from United States
22 June 2008

Director Eli Roth should take note of and learn from this film. It is what Cabin Fever hoped to be... spooky.

Two twenty-something couples are vacationing in Mexico when they are invited to witness the excavation of some ancient ruins. Instead of fun and excitement, however, the four are held captive at top of the ruins by the locals. But it isn't long before they find they may be in even greater danger. Something cunning, hungry, and green has a taste for human flesh and the four vacationers have rung the dinner bell.

The characters seemed real. The mood was gripping. There were some good scares. I enjoyed it.

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82 out of 117 people found the following review useful:

A really cool and underrated horror film

8/10
Author: Dragoneyed363 from United States
17 July 2008

The Ruins was an impressive achievement and all out great gory fun, in my honest opinion. While the characters aren't really likable, the movie itself is so entertaining and interesting that it makes up for the obvious solid plot and professional development it lacks. While it's certainly not a masterpiece, The Ruins is just an instantaneous breath of fresh air. It's clever in a sense, creepy to the bone and new with an insane entertainment level that it keeps your attention and doesn't let go.

I found the "creatures" an effective and nice, sinister twist to deal with next to the other conflict of being stranded upon the Mayan ruins away from all civilization except the natives who are hellbent on letting them die up there, and I thought while the characters were stupid, that was the right way to handle the situation considering that most people would lose their wit in situations like that after some time, and I always like it when horrors try to make their characters believable, because that makes up for them not being special. It was so compellingly good just to watch what all happened, and I really enjoyed the scenes and thought that it had excellent suspense and a wonderful atmosphere of claustrophobia and paranoia.

Yes, it gets a little bland around the edges, and like I said, it's not like it ranks among the greatest films of all time, but I truly do think it is a satisfying taste of what effective, legendary horrors could do if they were made with better care, because it has all the right substances, but just falls flat a little with it's slight mediocrity. Regardless, it is nonetheless very amusing and indulging. I praise the creators for coming as far as they did with a poor direction, and for toppling over a lot of horrors that have been made in the past decade. Too bad more people didn't see what I did, because it is quite underrated and under appreciated, I think.

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62 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

Oh, Goody! Let's Watch More Pretty Twenty-Somethings Die...

8/10
Author: Christopher T. Chase (cchase@onebox.com) from Arlington, VA.
12 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You already know the drill. You've seen what this genre can produce before, and you're pretty sure you've seen the best and the worst of it. From bygone days, JUST BEFORE DAWN. HELL NIGHT. MY BLOODY VALENTINE. LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. THE HILLS HAVE EYES. THE EVIL DEAD. And from the past couple of decades, HOSTEL. TURISTAS. WRONG TURN. JOY RIDE.

And of course, the film to which THE RUINS will probably get the most comparisons, CABIN FEVER. Except instead of being set out in the middle of CHAINSAW territory, now it's an ancient sprawl of Mayan ruins. The fact that Four Beautiful Gen-X'ers are involved is about where the similarities end. Mr. Eli Roth, I'm sorry to inform you that you got served.

Because just when you think that THE RUINS is really nothing more than just another yawn-inducing slasher movie, it takes this turn into THE OUTER LIMITS that you don't ever expect it to. And it's so much the better - and more terrifying - for that.

Jonathan Tucker (HOSTAGE, Showtime's MASTERS OF HORROR), Jena Malone (BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA), Shawn Ashmore (the X-MEN series) and Laura Ramsey (LORDS OF DOGTOWN) star as two best friends and their respective boyfriends on vacation in Mexico, for a period of beaches, booze and "knockin' da boots" before Tucker's character, Jeff, takes the educational equivalent of the Bataan Death March: attending med school.

The whole nightmare starts pretty simply, as nightmares often do in these things. The two couples meet cute with a German tourist, Mathias (Joe Anderson), whose own girlfriend, an archaeologist, has gone to her latest dig with Mathias's brother. He invites his new friends to come with, and since there's not much more excitement to be had, other than getting fit-to-puke drunk on too much cheap tequila, they take him up on his offer.

Really. Bad. Move.

The Fearless Foursome go to the dig site with Mathias and his friend, Dimitri (Dimitri Baveas) and nothing too alarming or remarkable happens along the way. It's when they get there that the fajitas really hit the fan. Because this set of ruins is no ordinary dig site. And if you have prepared yourself in advance for the ghost of some ticked-off Mayan god ready to rip out the hearts of these intruding Americanos, you are way off-base, my friend. What they find is more insidious, horrific and literally creepy than anything you've seen in a long, LONG time.

Kudos must immediately go to Scott Smith, the author of A SIMPLE PLAN, for adapting his page-turner of a runaway bestseller into something that should make Stephen King green with envy. The core idea is not an original one, but the way Smith uses it and his depictions of how it affects the characters involved is Grade-A 100% pure classic horror. Director Carter Smith, with his major movie debut, is great at ratcheting up the scares and the gore quotient as he wrings some pretty genuine performances from his cast.

But the nasty creepiness and dread are just the black frosting on this rotting cake. Dig underneath and you get some super bonuses: one scene that will forever make the "hobbling" scene from MISERY seem like a Sesame Street cakewalk, and one unbelievably goose-bump raising sequence that will forever have you getting freaked out about your cell phone. I can't tell you why...because the less you know about it, the more terrifying it is.

Yes, the creative forces here make the most of milking the themes of isolation, hopelessness and impending death. But it's the HOW, not the why that sets THE RUINS apart from any other movie of its kind that's been made before or since.

Right now, I would rank this one right up there with Neil Marshall's THE DESCENT as one of the Top Ten Best Horror Films made in this decade.

Gee, in spite of all the remakes still ongoing, maybe there is still some hope for horror after all.

I can promise you this much: THE RUINS is as good a description for what your nerves will be like by the climax, as it is the title of a very good horror thriller.

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86 out of 130 people found the following review useful:

A pretty good horror movie

8/10
Author: kevin_crighton (kevincrighton@btinternet.com) from Scotland
20 June 2008

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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69 out of 110 people found the following review useful:

Creepy horror tale will stay with you

8/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
27 April 2008

One of the better horror films of recent years, is creepy and scary and the sort of thing that makes your skin crawl. Its a simple story- several tourists go to a temple in the Mexican jungle that happens to be off the beaten path. There is of course something there and the locals are not happy about visitors. I won't say more since I'm going tempted to tell you way too much...which would be too much since the plot is simple. Its almost too simple. The reason the film works is that the film has decent characters and it does things that are decidedly not your typical horror movie choices. Its short, its sweet and it works. Its not perfect, there are one or two things I didn't like, but on the whole its a very good very creepy film. Frankly while Brazil got upset about Touristas a year because it might make think people about going there, Mexico should worry since this film will make anyone think again about going into ancient ruins. (7.5 ish out of 10 on the horror scale because thinking about the screams makes my skin crawl)

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55 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

It could have been more than the pointless movie it is

1/10
Author: capt0474 from United States
14 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this movie with very low expectations. I didn't know a lot about it so I wasn't sure if it was going to be worth it.

The story did an OK job of getting you curious about these ruins they travel to. The suspense continues when the Mayans show up and force them to stay at the ruins.

Then the movie turns from somewhat suspenseful to pointless. The amount of gore found in this movie did not balance out compared to whether it was truly necessary or used more for shock value.

The fact that they didn't make any attempt to fight the vines from hell. They had fire and didn't try to burn it nor did they try to cut it with a knife to see if they could destroy it or not. They quickly jumped into a victim role and their helpless attitude was not real. It reminded me of the old horror movies where the people just scream and yell and don't have half a brain to try to fight back.

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34 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

Just Terrible

1/10
Author: sajjukcor
19 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was really awful. It was not in the least bit frightening, or even startling. I went to see it with a bunch of friends and by the end of the night we were saying "The Ruins ruined my night."

I would not recommend seeing this movie in theaters, renting it or even watching the movie on television by accident.It is an absolute waste of an hour and a half.

The plot was nearly non-existent, the characters were horribly underdeveloped, and they gave no back story whatsoever for anything that was happening, and then left it completely open at the end as if preparing for a sequel.

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