The Ruins is the ultimate 2000’s horror movie – way more budget than it’s worth, and interesting enough premise, and tons of schlock. It also stars the most notable nobody of any film ever, Jena Malone, whom you have definitely seen in something but probably can’t remember what. This is the most notable movie by director Carter Smith. I went into The Ruins movie remembering people calling it ‘distasteful,’ and I came out of it rather delighted.
The Ruins Movie Synopsis
The Ruins focuses on a group of five spring breakers in Mexico who wander off the beaten path and find more than they bargained for. The group gets wind of a hidden and archeological site where some Mayan ruins have recently been uncovered. They hitch a ride to a remote section of the forest and do everything in their power to find what was supposed to be kept hidden.
A group of locals has gone to considerable effort to keep the path to the ruins hidden, but our bumbling crew of 20 somethings managed to stumble their way onto a giant Mayan ruin, WAY out in the open, which is covered intermittently with vines. Upon finding the ruins, the group is confronted by a band of locals with guns who chase the group onto the pyramid after one of them touches some of the plants that are growing on it.
The group tries to find the previous party whom they came to unite with, and are met with a mystery along with a few human remains. As time goes on, they start to realize that their GROWING desire to LEAF may not be as FRUITFUL as the new ROOTS that they have laid down on their pyramid DIGS.
If that series of puns seemed stupid to you, good, that should prepare you for this hokey thrillfest.
The Ruins Trailer
The Ruins Score
The Ruins Spoilers and Discussion
The premise behind The Ruins is as 2000’s era as you can get. Good looking party kids meet up with a foreigner from Munich, Mathias, (Joe Anderson) and decide to head way off the resort they are partying at to see if they can find Mathias’ brother. His brother is doing archaeology work and has found previously undiscovered Mayan ruins in the jungle.
Another Movie that Features Plants – Creepshow!
How Did The Ruins Stay Hidden?
I don’t understand how this site has remained undiscovered because it’s not covered up by the jungle at all. Given the fact that Google had maps in full swing by 2008, and government agencies had satellites capable of seeing such ruins from space for many years before this movie, it’s unlikely that this site would remain hidden from anyone. I guess that’s beside the point.
The locals understand and respect the site and how dangerous it is, because they guard it at all times, trying to keep the dangers of the site from infecting the rest of the world.
When our party of kids, lead by the most prolific actress you’ve never heard of Jena Malone (who plays Amy) runs into the ruins, they also have a run-in with the locals.
The locals are extremely agitated and armed with bows, and guns, which they use to imprison the group of kids on the temple. They shoot the throwaway sixth member of the party Dimitri (Dimitri Baveas) after he touches the plants that surround the temple.
A key feature of the temple is at the top there is what amounts to a hole to the center of the structure. On this hole, there is a makeshift pulley system to drop people and gear down into the structure. Presumably, this pulley system was set up and left by Mathias’ brother.
From within the temple the party, now trapped atop the structure can hear a cell phone of the previous party ringing. This is intriguing to the party because, of course, their cell phones don’t have service out here.
One by one, the party succumbs to injuries and accidents while trying to either escape the temple outright or retrieve the phone within.
Mathias Is injured while heading down into the temple, and he ends up breaking his back.
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Stacy (Laura Ramsey) is sent down into the temple to try and help Mathias and ends up getting a pretty severe cut on her leg from a sharp object. Amy follows her to help try to get Mathias onto the makeshift gurney and hears the cell phone ring while she is down there.
At some point, the group tries to reason with the locals who are guarding them on the temple, and our main hunk, Jonathan Tucker (mah name Jeff) throws a chunk of vine at a local child. The vine hits the child in the chest and the locals quickly execute the boy. This does a great job at ramping up the stakes.
After dilly-dallying forever, they head back down into the temple to find the cell phone, and Amy ends up in a small room covered in vines. She is looking at the flowers all over the place, and suddenly, the flowers scream at her in a way that, if flowers could scream, they would scream like this. Turns out, the vines can mimic sounds they hear to lure people into them.
The Ruins culminates with the party being encroached upon by these carnivorous mindfuck vines, and Laura (Laura Ramsey) has some interesting interactions with the vines growing inside her.
Ultimately, Amy ends up being the only one to survive and get away.
While it’s not the best movie, The Ruins is fun enough, and it’s not bad, making it a totally average horror movie in my book.
Final Recommendations, “Who Would Like This Movie?”
If you are in the mood for some interesting body horror and some laughs at a movie that takes itself way too seriously, this is it. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible, and boy, it’s ironically funny.