The Ruins review by The Grim Ringler


The movies haven’t been kind to world travel lately, and that’s an understatement. If you believe horror films any and every person around the world is gunning for Americans and it’s only a matter of time before they get us. Well, despite what you might learn from movies, not every person that isn’t American is planning some sort of bloody vengeance, though, if you see the RUINS, you are not apt to want to plan any Mexican getaways anytime soon.

While on vacation in Mexico and soaking up the atmosphere poolside at their hotel, four friends decide to join fellow traveler on a trip into the jungle to find his brother, who was on his way to some ancient ruins with a girl. It’s just before the Americans are going to return home and they want to have one last adventure and try to soak up some culture if they can. Their new friend is an affable enough guy who is just worried about his brother and he and another traveler, this one from Spain, lead the Americans into the wilds of Mexico to find the ruins. With the aid of a handwritten map they find the right area but no path, which, it turns out, has been covered. When they uncover the path two native children begin watching them silently. The travelers make their way along the path towards the ruins, an uneasy feeling among them and that feeling only deepens when they reach the foreboding shadow of the ruins. As soon as they are near the ruins though the group is surrounded by local tribesmen who are wielding weapons and screaming at these strangers. Without knowing, they have offended the local natives and in a moment things turn from dangerous to deadly and, with one of their members cut down, the surviving travelers are forced up onto the ruins in order to escape the hostile natives, not knowing that the real danger still awaits them. Trapped on top of the ruins, the friends soon realize that the real horror comes not from below them, but among them, as something within the ruins, something old and hungry, is anxious to have them for dinner.

A very well made and paced horror film, there are enough gross out moments to keep the gorehounds happy and more than enough tense moments to keep the casual fan nervous. There are some far fetched moments (how many people will just 1. hook up with a stranger and 2. go off into the jungle on their own?) but the film holds together because the whole is stronger than any small issues. The acting is good, and really conveys the horror of the situation and the absolute dread which gets thicker as the film moves forward. The sets are amazing and create an atmosphere that really stand out and pull you further into the story. From what I read, this is quite a departure from the novel the movie is based on, but for me, the film comes together well. Like most movies of this ilk, you can see where things are leading but how you reach that point, and what happens when it all comes together is what brings it together. It helps, too, that these are characters that you care for and empathize with and it’s awful to watch what they go through.

A solid horror film, this is what people mean when they talk about horror having a bit of resurgence. As much as I like a nice slasher film, this sort of film is what makes horror films fun because, at its heart, it’s scary. Hurray for scary. I can’t recommend this enough because of its use of tension, atmosphere, and the sheer level of horror that is created. Nicely done indeed.


8 out of 10 Jackasses
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