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The Ruins: Unrated (2008) [Blu-ray]

Shawn Ashmore , Jena Malone , Carter Smith    Unrated   Blu-ray
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Ruins [Blu-ray] Ruins [Blu-ray] 3.6 out of 5 stars (5)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sticky weather, sticky vines, bad vacation time July 13 2008
"The Ruins" is a film adaptation of the popular Scott Smith novel of the same name. Released in 2006, it was the author's follow-up to 1993's acclaimed "A simple plan". As such, The Ruins came in with a lot of hype, and a few gushing reviews notably by Stephen King. But despite the fact the book has sold a great amount of copies, it has also been victim of some lashing critical ire, especially here on Amazon, where there are countless extremely negative reviews of the book due to its pacing, supposedly annoying characters and length. This movie adaptation attempts to mostly use the overarching concept of Smith's novel and deliver suspense in a tight, filler-free 95 minutes of running time. For the most part, it succeeds.

The film follows the travelling exploits of 4 vacationing college students who are in Mexico on an all-inclusive resort for some much needed rest, relaxation, and some partying thrown in for good measure. Times are good, and with only 2 days left of vacation time, they meet a young German traveller by the pool who tells them about a Ruin temple, off the beaten path that is supposedly tourist-free and would make a great one-day trip. The 4 take him up on the offer and despite the warnings of a couple of locals who say it's "bad place", they hire a villager to drop them off into the remote spot. Once they get there however they soon discover that there is a very good reason why these Ruins are so isolated and off the beaten path. Let the horror begin...

I found "The Ruins" to be an extremely effective horror film and somewhat unique within the horror genre. Of course, the "young people vacationing in a remote spot" has been done tireless amounts of times but the approach is somewhat different here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Good Horror Film Jan. 31 2011
By Moodywoody TOP 500 REVIEWER
Obviously, if you don't like horror movies, then you won't like The Ruins. However, if you enjoy the genre, then this film is above average. Its strength as a horror film is its ability to allow the audience to identify with the characters and situation. The characters are young people in their early twenties, from American and European middle class backgrounds, who meet up by chance in a Mexican holiday resort and decide to have an adventurous exploration of some Mayan ruins. The horror of the film is not that they run into some kind of supernatural or alien terror, but basically a predatory carnivorous plant, in this case, vines. It is like a giant Venus Fly Trap that eats people, but also has a parasitic ability to grow within its victim's body.

The film does a fine job developing the characters, each having his or her own unique disposition. In fact, the characters in this film add to the horror effect of this film in that they are genuine and real people with a strong sense of looking out for each other. There are no jerks in this group, as you often find in such films, so that the audience can be emotionally indifferent to their demise. There is a certain emotional power to this film as we view these average young people, used to the security and comfort of their backgrounds, finding themselves alone in a nightmare that they are slowly beginning to realize will ultimately lead to their death.

This is a horror film that I can safely say does its job in giving the viewer the chills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silly but fun Aug. 1 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Silly, gory, and full of "what, really, why would they do that ?" moments, but it's a fun movie.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bunch of vines that eats people... Sept. 27 2008
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this movie and having not read the book I was surprised to find it to be pretty decent. It starts off just like an original horror movie but shift as you get further into it. The Ruins takes place in Mexico with four college-age kids (Tucker, Malone, Ashmore and Ramsy) and another guy (Anderson), the latter who takes them to a Mayan temple where his brother is working supposedly on a dig. When they get there, a bunch of angry Mexican-Myans attack them, they scurry up to the top of the temple, and are basically quarantined with a host of virulent, monster-type plants and vines, who in typical horror fashion kill them off one by one. That's the basic premise, anyway, and if you know that and have seen the trailer you probably took a guess whether this is up your alley.

The film really came through for me and I was pleased with the outcome. The cast was pretty respectable and I really came to love Stacy's (Laura Ramsey) character in the end. The characters did have their brainless moments at times, but were believable and you could tell they were desperate to get down there. The film has it's shocking moments and those come about halfway throughout the film. There was one scene that stood out and made me at awe.

On the downside of it all I would have loved more character development and transition scenes between the characters. I hear there was a bit more of character development scenes that were cut. Why? Next, I got a very different vibe from the trailer than the actual film. Finally, I'm sure this is the most talked about negative and that would be the ending. It felt rushed and quick. The truth is it could have been so much stronger of a film if it had more of a psychological ending.
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