Monday, April 7, 2008

'Ruined' Vacation

First let me say I am not EVER going to Mexico on vacation.
That said, The Ruins is a lovely movie that tells the story of four 20-somethings on a delightful Mexican vacation. They party with foreign strangers on the beach, they drink (diarrhea-inducing) umbrella drinks at tiki bars, they prance about half naked through the jungle looking for .....

You got it - The Ruins.
And you know what? They find 'em.

The Ruins [Theatrical Release]The Ruins [Theatrical Release]

I had considerable doubt, going in, that this movie could be even halfway as enthralling as the book by Scott Smith (A Simple Plan)... I figured what we were looking at here is Turistas crossed with... Gardening by the Yard or something like that.

It was, in my opinion, a worthy adaptation. A few key elements were fussed with and primped, but all in all - rather a fright.
If you don't like gore, steer clear.
If you don't like stupid vacationers, don't see it.

If you don't like climbing vines....

Two couples: Jeff (the "going-to-be-a-doctor" character) & Amy (simply put, the whiner) and Eric (loyal boyfriend extraordinaire) & Stacy (the cute, well-built blond that every horror movie has) are in Mexico. They decide, after meeting a friendly German (is that an oxy-moron?), to accompany him - through the thick, overgrown jungle - to one of the 'secret' Mayan ruins to find his brother, who has run off with an archeologist he just met.
Just the whole "taking off through the jungle" is a silly enough premise, but you know horror movies.

Anyway, the find the ruin and climb to the top - but not without meeting some antisocial to the point of being scary- locals who don't exactly like them hanging around. At the top, they hear the cell phone of the aforementioned brother, coming from deep inside the bowels of a huge pit. With the attached rope, the German, Mathias, is lowered into the hole in search of his sibling.

Without giving anything else away - I can only say that the fear factor has just been amped up one hundred percent after this point. It is literally crawling with desperate situations and ridiculous decisions.
There are some seriously gruesome scenes and I even cringed a few times - not easy for someone as seasoned (and desensitized) as myself. I think you'll know what I mean if you see it.
Put it this way, I remarked to my husband after we left the theater: "Now there's something you don't see everyday."

I'm sure there will be folks who don't like this film and to them I say: Whatever.
I believe this is rather unique and it did have some scary shit going down.
I've seen ALOT of scary movies, and as you may have previously read somewhere on this blog, I am hard pressed to find movies I don't like for one reason or another. However...

I can, and will, complain about the ending- but it won't matter. I'm sure there are bound to be a few alternate endings on the special edition DVD once it comes out.
They definately turned it into a Hollywood ending instead of sticking to the original book's conclusion. But Scott Smith wrote the screenplay as well, so he must have thought changes in the story added to it somehow. I must say I prefer the book's ending.
But this is a respectable adaptation of a truly scary book, and I imagine it will find a place on my DVD shelf - right there between The Ring and Saw.

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