5.8/10
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377 user 236 critic

The Ruins (2008)

R | | Horror | 4 April 2008 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Carter Smith

Writers:

Scott B. Smith (screenplay), Scott B. Smith (novel) (as Scott Smith)
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Popularity
3,750 ( 9)
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Tucker ... Jeff
Jena Malone ... Amy
Laura Ramsey ... Stacy
Shawn Ashmore ... Eric
Joe Anderson ... Mathias
Sergio Calderón ... Lead Mayan (as Sergio Calderon)
Jesse Ramirez ... Mayan Bowman
Balder Moreno Balder Moreno ... Mayan Horseman
Dimitri Baveas Dimitri Baveas ... Dimitri
Patricio Almeida Rodriguez Patricio Almeida Rodriguez ... Taxi Driver
Mario Jurado Mario Jurado ... Mayan Archer
Luis Antonio Ramos ... Mayan Rifleman (as Luis Ramos)
Walter Quispe Walter Quispe ... Mayan Rifleman
Pauline Whyman Pauline Whyman ... Wailing Woman
Nathan Vega Nathan Vega ... Mayan Boy
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror has evolved.

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany | Australia

Language:

English | Maya | Spanish | Greek | German

Release Date:

4 April 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las ruinas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,003,421, 6 April 2008

Gross USA:

$17,432,844

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,736,861
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Carter Smith had just purchased a copy of the Scott B. Smith novel and started reading it when he got the phone call offering him the film adaptation. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 22 mins) When Jeff is shot at the end of the movie, the Mayans shoot him with 2 arrows, then during the next scene it shows he has been shot with 3 arrows. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Body Horror Movies (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Solto O Frango
Written by Pedro D'Eyrot, Rodrigo Gorky (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

See more »

User Reviews

 
Nothing ruinous about this crafty chiller.
5 October 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Ruins is directed by Carter Smith and adapted to screenplay by Scott B. Smith from his own novel of the same name. It stars Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore, Laura Ramsey and Joe Anderson. Music is by Graeme Revell and cinematography by Darius Khondji.

Two young couples on holiday in Mexico make friends with a German tourist, Mathias (Anderson), who tells them of his missing brother who had gone off to view a Mayan ruin deep in the jungle. Their interest piqued, they agree to go on the adventure the following day. Once arriving at the remote ruin, though, they all find more than they bargained for....

Hot young cast in horror film that follows a stagnated formula? Well no, actually. It has all the hallmarks of being yet another in a sad long line of horror movies that con the faithful into watching it, only to disappoint with an unadventurous plot, making a quick bit of cash before disappearing in the stale popcorn tinted wind. The Ruins has generic moments, certainly the first half hour is your standard meet and greet your young protagonists stuff, but once we get to the ruins of the title the film shifts into a different world. Our fears that this is going to be just another case of guessing what order the young holiday makers are going to be sliced and diced, are quickly vanquished, this is a tale of survival, of a youthful group dynamic under severe threat, and bonus here is that the antagonist is something very different to what normally stalks these genre movies.

This really could have been a cheese fest, an unintentionally funny film, using gore and nudity to hide shortcomings in the screenplay, but it's not, writer Scott Smith has provided director and cast with material that pulses with an unexpected bleakness, a facing up to mortality at a young age, and crucially the characters do viable things given their circumstance, and that's mighty refreshing in a era of horror bulging with stupidity. It helped me personally that I knew next to nothing about the film before viewing it, and unlike some film lovers I'm not overly familiar with the young cast, though Joe Anderson is always on my plus list after his turn as Peter Hook in Control. But while it clearly didn't revolutionise horror as a genre, it at least had the gumption to veer in a different direction, going deeper in basic thematics than similar big budgeted films have.

Tension is deftly mounted, what blood and body horror there is (and a couple of scenes are genuinely wince inducing and well staged) is not cheap and exploitive, while the finale doesn't cop out. True, there are some unanswered questions that leap out when the end credits roll, and anyone expecting a fast paced thrill ride are right out of luck. Yet for those who lean towards a good psychological horror then this is very much recommended. 7.5/10


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