Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Halloween Scene: The Ruins (2008)

9:11:36 pm

Today's been a pretty productive day. Well, maybe not in the actual, getting things done kind of way, but as far as the blog's concerned. If only I got paid by the post. Heck, if only I got paid for this at all...

Anyway, in my effort to actually produce content on this bad boy and the great luck of having the house to myself thanks to a visit from the mother in law, I've been able to watch yet another horror movie today. This one, as you already know from the title, was The Ruins, a flick written by and based on the book of Scott B. Smith, directed by Carter Smith and starring five people, but Shawn Ashmore (Iceman!) and Jena Malone (Donnie Darko!) are the only ones I recognize (though I only actually noticed Jena Malone, I had no idea that was Iceman).

The premise is similar to Welcome to the Jungle which I thought I reviewed, but I just checked and I didn't. Four American college kids decide it's a good idea to leave their hotel and go with some dude they just met to some old Mayan ruins. One thing I've learned from watching plenty of horror movies is to never leave your hotel. Stay with the tourists man, they only get murdered in normal ways like stabbing and shooting, but getting eaten (Welcome to the Jungle) or killed by plants (The Ruins).

So these kids get to the ruins and immediately the natives show up and start screaming at them in a language they don't understand. Once one of their dudes touches the plants surrounding the temple they shoot him with an arrow and then a gun. The kids freak out and run up the temple. This is where things get bad as the dude who took them there falls down the whole and breaks his legs. The other four try and deal with this completely illogical situation logically, but that doesn't really work so well as the plants start entering their bodies, crawling around like creepy worms inside their skin and imitating human voices making them distrust each other (I'm not really sure how this works, but it's creepy).


The last 20 minutes are pretty crazy as the main characters start dying off. The blonde girl got infected the worst so the brown haired kid who wants to be a doctor starts cutting the plant-worms out of her, but he doesn't get them all so she decides to cut them out herself while everyone's sleeping. And boy does she hack away at herself. It's a great effect and super creepy (as was the part where they're pulling out the plant worms). Iceman tries to stop her, but she stabs and kills him. She then begs the doc to kill her which he does. He then has this plan to get Jena out of there which works, but the natives kill him and she 's got one of the plant worms in her head.

I liked the general concept of a temple trying to kill people and the natives being the real protectors, keeping the world safe from what I can only assume is an ancient evil and the dumb Americans being the bad guys. It's worth checking out for horror fans as the characters are likable and the effects are great. Plus it's only a little over an hour and a half so it doesn't take all that much time. I'm not sure what it is, but the movie didn't really grab me even with all that. Part of it is that it's pretty dark when they're inside the temple (they spend most of their time on top of it). I had very little idea what was happening when they were in there. Maybe it's that I feel like I've seen this kind of movie before. It might be the non-committal ending with Jena Malone getting away to some extent. But who knows how far she got? I'd actually like to see a sequel explaining what happens after that or could have done with about 10 more minutes of story, but hey, what can you do?

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