I’ve come to the conclusion that I wish modern day horror films would take the cue from porn films and have less dialogue/story equaling more action/horror. Is it wrong to think that? I don’t think so in that, let’s not kid ourselves, anyone who attends a horror film is there to see the blood and guts or be creeped out. We don’t come expecting Shakespeare. ‘After having to watch recent schlock like The Grudge, The Hills Have Eyes and House of Wax it seems like the creators of these films have no idea whatsoever of how to make a decent film or write good dialogue, so let’s not put anyone through that agony. Let’s start a campaign for less talk and backstory and more blood/guts/creepiness/ghosts/monsters in horror films! Who’s with me?!
On a vacation in Mexico four American friends are approached by a German tourist named Mathias (Joe Anderson – Across the Universe, Becoming Jane) with the offer of going to a secluded Mayan ruin, which his brother is performing a dig on. Tempted by the fact that they have not seen any of the Mayan temples on their trip and they would have the chance to see one no one else can, Jeff (Jonathan Tucker – In the Valley of Elah, The Virgin Suicides), Amy (Jena Malone – Into the Wild, Cold Mountain), Eric (Shawn Ashmore – X-Men: The Last Stand, The Quiet), and Stacy (Laura Ramsey – She’s the Man, Lords of Dogtown) agree.
Hiking through the jungle with only directions from an old map to follow they finally find the ruin, but it seems as if no one is there. At the foot of the temple they are approached by Mayan villagers who are quite hostile. Not able to understand one another things escalate and the Greek tourist (Dimitri Baveas – first film) who had been with them is shot to death. The gun and bow and arrow wielding Mayans force the remaining five to climb to the top of the temple. Something about the temple has freaked out the Mayans and they are guarding the five young people to make sure they cannot leave the temple.
They begin to realize that Mathias’ brother is not around and they are stuck on the temple with little food and water. Panic really begins to set in when they become aware that the vine which is covering the entire temple is not your average foliage – it truly is a creeping vine. The race is on to find a way out of there alive.
It took forever for the horror to begin in this one. Did we really need the scenes on the beach or in the hotel rooms? I think not as they added nothing to the film and were just really gratuitous sex situations. After the action finally starts almost everytime someone opened their mouth something stupid came out. It really had the audience laughing at the preview. My personal favourite was when Jeff says, “Four traveling Americans just don’t disappear!” Ah, the naiveté of the young.
The film does have potential with the story being creepy and some of the scenes were filled with tension and were scary, but the ridiculousness of other parts kinda killed it for me. It was an interesting twist how they made all the bloodiest parts be at the hands of each other rather than the killer vine. Kinda different.
Though “The Ruins” is not as painful as some recent horror films, it still isn’t a good film. I’ll keep waiting patiently for a quality horror film that will really scare me.
-Making the Ruins
-Creating the Pyramid
-Commentary by Director Carter Smith and Editor Jeff Betancourt