Thursday, October 16, 2008

the ruins [2008]

the greatest offense a movie, any movie, but especially a horror movie, can do is be boring. when stupefying boredom settles on me as a viewer i don't get pissed or even slightly annoyed at the makers of the movie in question, i just have a single question, why? why bother at all if the production is at a level just above having a nap.

i don't know why i rented this movie. i don't know why i watched it either. nothing compelled me to. maybe just idle curiosity. maybe it was simply because when i came home last saturday night after watching a pretty good horror movie, quarantine, and eating a late dinner i thought maybe i'd make the evening a double-feature.

well, i can't say watching the ruins was a mistake, but it sure was a waste of time. no suspense, no gore, no interesting characters or even annoying characters that i can take pleasure in watching being killed off. okay, that sounded a bit misanthropic, but man! this movie was like staring in the abyss without finding your character. just emptiness, nothing, zip, nada, a yawn.

the gist of the movie is two twenty-something couples on holiday in mexico who hook up with a young german tourist as the couples recover poolside from a night of serious partying. the german invite them to some ruins his brother, an archaeologist, is studying in the jungle. ready for an adventure our young charges go. when they find the site they are suddenly surrounded by some locals who force them to the top of the ruin. the reason, and i'll tell you what that is and spare you the horror of investing ninety plus minutes of your life watching, 90 plus minutes that will be sucked out of you, never to return, and leaving you that much older, that reason is the plants on the ruins are carnivores with the ability to grasp and move and mimic the ringing of cell phones and human voices. you see, these kids are now set up to be sacrificed!

but to whom and why is never made clear. it wasn't even made murky. instead, we get a joyless study of human stupidity and an object lesson on how to avoid making a bad horror film. this is no plan 9, no campiness at all, nor is it so grim to be refreshing in its pessimism. i was curious about the character of the german. i thought he was set up to make it like that he had a sinister design such as working with the locals to provide young people as sacrifices to the plants. nothing doing. he was the first victim. after sitting thru this turd of a flick i think he was the lucky one.


At 6:57 AM, Blogger Steve Caratzas said...

I dunno, I think you're being a little harsh here. Granted, this was not a good film, but I think it did at least provide a modicum of conflict.

The scene where the locals made a sacrifice of their own was very shocking to me, and I also felt there was indeed a decent amount of gore.

Ultimately, I wouldn't recommend this flick, either, but I've seen far worse.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Mark Lamoureux said...

The scene where Blonde Student tries to cut the plants(?--they were plants, right?) out of her is kind of disturbing, but the subsequent accidental death of her boyfriend was a little stupid. The ending, like it was freaking Dead Poets' Society was hilarious "her name is (whatever her name was, I've already forgotten) and she's not going to die here." Har.

This was the second entry into the Descent (also execrable) school of falling-trauma and subsequent femur-crushing horror.


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