THE RUINS is one of the most underrated horror films in the last decade. Yes. I said it and stick by my statement 100%. I don’t care that it’s only got a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, because having now seen the film a good 4 times, it’s still scary and effective and a true horror movie if there ever was one. 

The plot is simple (as are most great films of this sort). Four twenty-somethings are vacationing in Mexico and along with a two new friends, venture out into the jungle to find the ruins of a Mayan temple off the beaten path. 

What they find is terror beyond any of their wildest imaginations. Trapped on the temple, they soon discover an ancient evil that threatens to literally tear their already tenuous relationships apart. It becomes a desperate fight for survival against almost insurmountable odds. 

Based on the novel of the same name and written by the author Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan), THE RUINS is solid from start to finish. Director Carter Smith ratchets up the elements of horror nicely and there is a palpable sense of dread that never finds relief.  

What could have been a group of four cliché riddled caricatures are actually well defined individuals that act appropriately given the situations they find themselves in. The cast includes Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore and Laura Ramsey and the characters they portray might not be perfect, but they are recognizable as real human beings. So you care about them and empathize for their plight. 

With that said, the film isn’t for the weak-stomached. There are scenes of intense and bloody bodily harm. This is ramped up even more if you watch the unrated version available on Blu-Ray. 

If you are a fan of truly original horror films like THE DESCENT (2006) than THE RUINS is a MUST SEE HORROR MOVIE. This is a great horror film and deserves more recognition than it’s given credit for.

JULY 19, 2014


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THE RUINS (2008)