June 20, 2008

Solo Review: The Ruins (2008)

A group of college students are partying it up in Mexico (you know, hookers, tequila, donkey shows...) when 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. When their grizzled old cab driver, Chachi, tells them "that place no good," they ignore his broken-English advice and head off to their impending doom.

Yes, all Mexican people DO look like this.
When they arrive at the ruined temple, 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 won't be killed... because the locals are scared to come near the cursed place. At one point, the trapped gringos try screaming "INS!" and "Immigration!," which doesn't work since they're 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?

Rrrrrrrrrico. Suaaaaave.
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.

Shoulda stayed by the pool.
I had low expectations going into this one, and I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised at how good it ended up being. What a disturbing little flick! This movie is nothing less than a vicious, disturbing, unflinching ass-kicking, 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, instead I actually found myself rooting for them to live! 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.Thank you.

Jena Malone and Laura Ramsey are both hot as hell... and great actresses to boot. Jonathan Tucker, who is always on point, was solid here once again. I'm still pissed that NBC cancelled his show, The Black Donnellys. Shawn Ashmore was good too, though I'll always see him as Bobby Drake from X-men, but the kid can act.

Mmm hmm.
Why didn't they use fire?

Is she getting drunk? Now?
Fuck you if you think you're lowering me down that dark-ass hole alone. No, no, no!

There is all sorts of nasty, nasty blood and gore on display here; the surgery scene alone does it for me. Wow, the shit they show in that scene... very uncomfortable.

This is why you always wear a condom, kids.
Laura Ramsey does a quick, but great nudie shot.

"Four Americans on vacation don't just disappear" Wrong. So, so wrong.

Yelling is not going to make things better.
When in a foreign country, just stay at the damn resort. Also, don't ever trust the locals, because they pretty much just want to kill you

That's right. Hold each other. Now kiss.
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, and it works to near perfect effect. You should definitely check it out asap, but grab the Unrated version though, as some of the gore is trimmed on the Theatrical cut.


The Ruins is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


The Hotties of The Ruins: Laura Ramsey and Jena Malone.


  1. Just saw this the other day, I got it because I remembered that you guys were excited about getting the DVD... So i figured it might be good.

    It did not disappoint at all.

    Only thing that kept bugging me was...why didn't they try burning the plants?

  2. I preferred the Unrated DVD to this - the ending was better.

    And I really like Jena Malone, she proved herself in this one.

    - Zac

  3. Yeah, the unrated DVD is the way to go with this one. And I love Jena Malone; adorable and a good actress.

  4. Every time you hear a comment on the type "why didn't they... ?" you know the movie was at least decent and viewers identified with the film. I almost replied with some of my own questions before I slapped myself and got serious. And I have only been doing that because of that vine in my cheek.

    Anyway, great flick. I am glad I got to see it, thanks, guys! If you liked the basic premise, you should check out Serge Brussolo's books. He is French and burned out fast, but his books are insane!