The Ruins (2008)
Sub-Genre- Teen Terror
In Attendance- Me...
Cast Members of Note- Jena Malone (YUM), The kid who played Iceman in X-men, The kid who played in the Black Donnelly's, and Laura Ramsey (She's naked in this.)
What's it about?- A group of college students are partying it up in Mexico; you know, hookers, tequila, donkey shows... When on the last day before heading home, they come up with an awesome idea; let's go into the jungle, alone, sporting hangovers, working off of a hand drawn crappy map, and explore an old Mayan temple. Even though the grizzled old cab driver, Chachi, tells them "That place no good", they ignore his broken-English advice and head off to their impending doom.
Things go well right up to the point when they arrive at the ruined temple, and a whole mess of local bandito's show up behind them and force them onto the temple at gunpoint. As long as they don't come down, they wont be killed... because the locals are scared to come near the cursed place. They try at one point screaming "INS!" and "Immigration!", which doesn't work since their already in Mexico; not even a last ditch attempt at trickery involving a boom box and a wicked group karaoke version of "Rico Suave" by Gerardo will buy them their freedom. Might as well go inside, since their trapped, right?
Chaos ensues pretty quickly for the poor kids, and its nothing but crazy plant life and exploratory surgery from then on out.
I don't want to ruin too much of what happens once they realize they're screwed, but suffice it to say that some Ortho would have come in handy.
The Good- I had low expectations going into this one, and I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. What a disturbing little flick! This movie is nothing less than a vicious, disturbing, unflinching little ass kicking (on us, of course), and it delivers on all levels.
I absolutely bought into this movie from start to finish, and although there were a few minor "WTF are you doing" moments, they were few and far between. The feeling of dread, coupled with the unknown terror waiting in the dark for the characters was enough to make me feel the creep a little bit.
The big one for me was the characters; I didn't hate the dumb teen party-goers like I normally do; I actually wanted them to live. That's a pretty big thing for me. Sure they party and make some bad choices, but for once I didn't scream at the screen, or cheer for the "bad guy"! I liked them! ARGH! Just let me have my little moment here please.
Jena Malone and Laura Ramsey are both hot as hell... and great actresses to boot. Jonathan Tucker, who is always on point in my opinion, was solid here once again. I'm still pissed that NBC canceled his show, The Black Donnellys; what a great one that was. Shawn Ashmore was good too... I'll always see him as Bobby Drake from X-men, but the kid can act.
The Bad- Why didn't they use fire?
The Downright Horrendous- Fuck you if you think you're lowering me down that dark assed hole alone. No, no, no!
The Gory- Nasty, nasty blood and gore here; The surgery scene alone does it for me. Wow, the shit they show in that scene... very uncomfortable.
The Naked- Laura Ramsey does a quick, but great nudie shot. Check Out the animated GIF in the GIF section (Adults only!)
What did we learn?- When in a foreign country, stay at the damn resort. Also, don't ever trust Mayan locals; they pretty much just want to kill you.
Rating- A I'm as surprised as anyone that I'm giving a movie like this an A rating, but dammit if it didn't deserve it. Gore, tension, dread... it's all here. You should check it out. Grab the Unrated version though, as some of the gore is trimmed on the theatrical.