May 13

Forgotten Films: The Ruins

Carter Smith

Scott B. Smith (Novel)
Scott B. Smith (Screenplay)

Johnathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, Shaun Ashmore, Joe Anderson

A Group of “twenty something” college students on holiday in Mexico travel to an archaeological dig site, upon arrival they are forced onto the ruins and what they find is an ancient evil with a craving for human blood.

The story is not going to really challenge any of the audience, it is basically a standard horror plot style; establish characters, establish evil and kill off most/all of cast. This movie came out right in the middle of the rise of the Gorno (or torturer porn) films and suffers from what I find most of this genre does, powerful scenes wasted due to a lack luster story. The movie has no major standout moments and the ending is kind of lacklustre.

Typical of this kind of film most of your characters are annoying and whiny, which is usually a plus as it is fun to watch them then get slowly get picked off. This however is not the case with this film. Minor spoiler but most of the cast is alive for three quarters of the film, The film largely revolves around the main actors stuck atop of the ruins. This means that the dynamic between the cast is crucial and for the most part this is what makes the film watchable.

As I stated before the film is Gorno and this means that a large portion of this film’s gore revolves around hard to watch intense gore, so fans of this will get their fill, there is plenty of cringe-worthy moments, screaming and chaos. A scene to watch out for is the first morning after they arrive, severely brutal stuff.

Best Bits:
Mainly what works for me in this film is the interaction between the cast, the film itself is pretty average but you find yourself taking sides as the movie progresses and the film only lost me right at the end when the film gets a little on the ridiculous side (cellphone.. thats all I’m going to say, you will see what I mean).

The film is a fun ride and if you can disengage your brain when it comes to the films enemy (and dated CG) it’s not terrible. Saying that though, I think it is definitely a one watch film (mind you I find most Gornos are) and I will not be adding it to my collection. Good for a popcorn horror.

Final words:
Don’t rush out and grab it.

You can buy (if you choose to ignore the final words) here: The Ruins (Unrated Edition) – This links to a Region 1 US version, make sure your DVD player is multi-region.