Cowzilla3 blog header photo
Cowzilla3's c-blog
Fronts 10Posts 0Blogs 292Following 0Followers 143



Monday Review: The Ruins


Ruining 'The Ruins'

“The Ruins” is far from a bad horror film. In fact the film, based on the truly creepy novel of the same name, is much better and far more disturbing then your standard horror fare. It just doesn’t seem to know it. The movie is original, psychologically disturbing and actually has some depth to its characters but it plays out, mostly thanks to Carter Smith’s rote direction, like nothing more than the next sequel in a tired slasher film franchise.
The film starts off like any good horror movie with four American college students on vacation in a foreign land, in this case Mexico. They meet a German tourist who knows about some secret ruins that aren’t on the map and decide that going there with this total stranger is a good idea. So far the standard horror direction, replete with screeching musical cues and long shots of nothing, fit right in with the cliché plot. There’s even a gratuitous breast shot in the beginning.

This scene is actually not in the movie. I don't think it rains at all, in fact.

Where the direction really starts to grind against the creativity of the film is when the group of travelers gets to the ruins and is subsequently trapped on them by the natives who guard the evil temple. This particular temple is evil because of a vine-like plant that grows on it that eats anything it can get its hands on. Think Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors” but with less singing and way more blood and horror. The thing even starts to play mind games with one of the stranded teens until she’s driven to do some of the most disturbing things I’ve ever watched on film.
It really makes for one hell of a chilling film, especially once the characters start to realize their predicament and break down. The college kids aren’t as blindly stupid as your standard horror film idiots and the decisions they make, ignoring the one where they decide to travel to an unknown ruin in the middle of the jungle, usually make sense. There hasn’t been a horror film this psychologically taught in a good long while and it should remind any horror fan that real scares come from suspense not gross out blood - not that there isn’t plenty of that too. It’s all far more than you would expect from a film that opens with so many easy clichés.

Surprisingly Un-stupid.

Sadly Smith never really takes his direction away from the norm. I could almost predict the next shot that was coming each time the camera cut and it just makes the entire film feel a bit more flat than it really should have been. It’s the filmic equivalent of ruining a really great steak with A1 steak sauce. It doesn’t taste bad but you’ve had it a million times before.
“The Ruins” isn’t a bad horror film but thanks to the direction it comes across far more standard than it should have been. In the hands of a more experienced director the movie could have been as disturbing as “Psycho,” but instead it’s just slightly above par and far from classic.
3 out 5. But you said it was ruined!!!? Go back and read the whole review, skipping down to the numbers is lame.

Login to vote this up!



Please login (or) make a quick account (free)
to view and post comments.

 Login with Twitter

 Login with Dtoid

Three day old threads are only visible to verified humans - this helps our small community management team stay on top of spam

Sorry for the extra step!


About Cowzilla3one of us since 9:42 AM on 07.12.2007

Names Matt Razak and I'm just a gamer with a Wii and a 360 and PS3. I'm also really, really, really, ridiculously good looking and a ninja...and humble. I'm the Editor and Chief at Flixist.

Things I've Done or Am Doing

Front Paged
Music In Gaming
What is a Hero?: Sonic
Good Idea, Bad Idea: Casual Gaming
What No More Heroes Really Means
Social Activism in Gaming
Educate Yourself - Castlevania
Start of the Affair
What is a Hero?: Lara Croft
Wii Fit Review

Recognizing Your Gaming Journalist
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Drinks Ron Workman Can't Handle
Metroid Mojito
Mario Mudslide, The Super Punch Out, Princess Peach Schnapps
Pikachu Punch, Triforce Triple
DK Daquiri, Yoshi Jager, Mother Brain Drain (MBD)
Rocks on the Scotch, Bowser Bad Ass

Interviews With Famous People
Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Richard Shepard
Michael Davis
Jason Schwartzman

What Happened?
The First
My Favorite One
To be continued...?
Obviously there are tons more, but I'm not linking them all.

Interesting Walls of Text
Gaming Journalsim
How do we discuss games as art?
My Great Concern

What is a Hero?
Solid Snake
Master Chief

Educate Yourself
Kid Icarus
Kid Icarus Final Impressions
Splatterhouse Final Impressions
Fall Out

Xbox LIVE:Cowzilla3
Mii code:4283 6222 8765 8660


Around the Community