So, I found a horror movie recently and even though it’s not serial killer horror or Halloween type of horror, it’s definitely scary.
The movie I will be talking about today: “The Ruins” (2008) – there will be spoilers, so please be warned. The following movie is for mature audiences, if you’re not mature, which let’s be honest, none of us here on the Duck are, please refrain from reading this review.
Also, if you’re not into ridiculously horribly terribly bad movie reviews with bad jokes, turn away now.
The Ruins synopsis:
The Ruins starts out very simple, we see a woman crying for help and then suddenly we meet two couples who are hanging out.
Unfortunately I can’t really make a joke about this cast except for Shawn Ashmore who was… Iceboy/Bobby(?) in X-Men, but that’s… the only joke I got. And it’s not even a joke. I mean, his character was a joke. tbh I’m mostly salty he did my girl, Rogue, dirty.
Anyway, for clarification, Jeff is dating Amy – Stacy is dating Eric.
These four friends are chilling in Mexico enjoying their vacation.
Soon arrives this guy: – the dashing German(?) who Amy gets an obvious lady boner for.
The five of these attractive group of human beings begin to converse to each other about their vacation in Mexico when Mathias brings up that he has friends inspecting some sort of sweet ruins nearby.
I forget how this conversation goes down, but I’m pretty sure Jeff got a boner for the ruins and basically insisted that him and his group of friends should definitely check it out because they only have one day left in Mexico and they should use this time to take in some of the ancient culture.
Mathias and his other group of friends (which if I’m correct are three other guys I forgot their names) are planning on going as well, so they might as well go together, right?
So, it’s an agreement, everyone is gonna go and become Lara Croft because why not??
Night time rolls around and Jeff thinks everyone should go to bed early because they’re gonna go Tomb Raider-ing in the morning, but no one wants to go, they wanna get some party in.
Fuckin’ Jeff, being a party pooper. Bet it comes with the name too.
(jk, I just think Jeff is a very dad name and the kind of dad who is always grumpy or tired of life.)
Anyway, Amy, who is too drunk to even stand begins to flirt with Mathias after Jeff leaves, why am I pointing this out? I don’t know, I just wanna give you some pointless info. Stacy comes in and stops Amy from doing something she might regret.
Morning rolls around and of course, Amy is puking her brains out because she drank too much and she keeps telling Jeff she doesn’t wanna go anywhere because she doesn’t feel good and wants to lay in bed. (same.) but Jeff says no, they should really do this because it’s their last day and all they’ve done so far is party. Annnnd finally she agrees to go, everyone gets together.
The group we’ve got are: Jeff, Amy, Stacy, Eric, Mathias and an extra dude, Dimitri (he doesn’t have a pic btw.)
So, just a little bit of FYI, I tend to watch movies while I work on my comic because it really helps me focus and get stuff done, so I didn’t pay much attention to them getting to the ruins, buuuut I do remember some key points and things to obviously take note of:
-When they first wanted to get to the ruins, the taxi driver they asked didn’t want to take them there until they offered a higher price.
-When they got dropped off they had to walk the rest of the way.
-Before walking the rest of the way we witness some vehicles that seem a little… forgotten. One of the vehicles happens to be Mathias’ brother’s vehicle?
-On their path they discovered the path to the ruins were hidden and they found 2 children, a boy and a girl. And these kids are not that into talking I guess.
-The girls are absolutely sus of the hidden path. Understandably.
They arrive at the temple/ruins, and it is a gorgeous scenery. Vines encase the whole thing, it just looks really pretty. They take notice of a tent. Which is probably the tent that belongs Mathias’ brother or someone of a mutual friend group?
Soon after, men on horses arrive.
The only important one is this guy:
The atmosphere now turns a little uneasy and somewhat hostile. There is clearly a language barrier between the two groups.
By the way, during this whole time Amy is taking picture of… everything.
Clearly, there is a problem here but no one really understands what’s happening, so Mathias whips out his phone and shows a picture of his brother to the Lead Mayan, in what is an attempt, I assume, at explaining that they’re trying to meet with Mathias’ brother.
What I assume right now, the Lead Mayan, trying to understand what’s up/what’s going on, he is examining the picture so, I think he’s seen the brother, and I can only guess he’s discussing with his fellow Maya about.. what probably happened to him?
During this, Amy, is once again, taking pictures but she starts to back further into the temple, to the point she’s touching the vines, when her camera’s shutter goes off, the Lead Mayan as well as the others take notice of her and immediately turn hostile, even whipping out their weapons.
The Lead Mayan is sporting a gun while the others are equipped with a bow and arrow.
The group assumes the hostility is about Amy taking a picture of them, so Dimitri, the man with no pic, walks over to her, steps into the vines, grabs her camera in an attempt to appease the Maya. But they’re not into that and when he gets too close to them they shoot him with an arrow… and then blow his brains out because why not?
This act of violence prompts the whole group of foreigners to run up to the top of the temple while the Maya are circling it from a distance.
After staying up there for a bit they notice more Maya are arriving to the site, even setting up what seems to be a camp. The Maya are set with not letting them leave the top of that temple.
Jeff, having the big brain that he does, realizes that it has to do with the ruins because the Maya refuse to even approach it.
I’m going to try and speed this up:
They’re having issues with their phones and can’t get in touch with anyone but then they hear a phone ringing, from inside the ruins. There’s a way to get down there, from what looks like a well sort of mechanism (Idk what it’s called, please don’t insult my baby brain) – Mathias has the brilliant idea of going down there to retrieve it, unfortunately, mid way getting down there the rope gives out, he falls.
After trying to find a way to get him out, they determine that one of the girls has to go down there because they’re lighter, so Stacy, being the fucking trooper that she is, decides she will do it.
They tie her up, set her to go down there but the rope is too short, so she has to drop the rest of the way but falls down and cuts herself upon landing.
This is where she confirms Mathias is alive but absolutely clapped from the fall.
Shortly after Amy insists that they have to convince the Maya to send for help for their fallen friends but Jeff knows that they’re not gonna help, but Amy ain’t having none of that and goes running down the steps of the temple like a boss bitch and begins to demand for their help. The Maya are armed and ready to take her down but Amy begs and begs for their help and at one point she gets so frustrated that grabs a bundle of vine and throws in their direction, unfortunately it hits a little boy and… well, the Lead Mayan offs him with his gun.
Clearly, it’s something with the vines.
The sun is descending, it’s getting darker, Stacy is still stuck down in the ruins with Mathias, but the three friends up top are building a sort of like bed to transport Mathias in.
Amy soon goes down because they need two people to retrieve Mathias.
Anyway, because the girls don’t know how to handle a messed up back (and because of Stacy’s impatience) they kind of fuck Mathias’ back up a little bit more?? But they do get him out of there.
Night falls and everyone goes to bed.
In the morning Stacy wakes up to feel something weird. She throws off her sheets to see VINES ON HER LEGS AND THEN AFTER TRYING TO HIT THEM OFF OF HER, SHE SEES THEY’RE INSIDE HER DAMN WOUND. D: ew.
And then Mathias asks for help and guess what? There are vines on his legs too! And from what I could understand, they were EATING HIS LEGS.
The crew hears the phone again and determines that they absolutely need it and send the girls back down to retrieve it.
The girls have torches and pitchforks equipped and are ready for battle. Jk, they only have torches.
They follow the ringing and after a bit of exploring the find someone but boom, it’s a dead body (and actually, it’s the body of the girl who was screaming for help at the start of the movie) BUT they see the dead body has the phone, however, the phone is broken… then… they hear another phone. They turn around and go to look for it, but as they get closer, the sound starts to change, it sounds more like a screech mimicking the sound of a phone ringing. That’s when Amy sees them… the flowers from the vines are making those sounds and being really creepy about it too.
It’s really damn creepy, ok?
Amy is soon attacked by the vines but Stacy and Amy both make it out okay, crying and horrified and explains what happened, insisting that the flowers/vines know that they’re alive and there and being creepy to them. They all want to get the eff off of the temple but Jeff insists it’s too dangerous and they just have to wait because Mathias’ two other friends, known as “The Greeks” are also meant to come to the temple AND according to Jeff, “Four Americans on vacation just don’t disappear.”
Jeff basically just tells the group to try and keep it together and stay alive because help is on the way. Yip yip hurray I guess.
The next day, they have breakfast with what little food they brought and when Jeff goes to examine Mathias’ legs, he realizes he has to cut them off because he could get an infection. No one is for this but Mathias says it’s ok and he understands.
They remove the messed up part of his legs, which is basically the knee and below and they end up witnessing the vines grabbing the cut off body parts and dragging it in to eat it… Yeah, nature is whack af.
Night time falls around, Stacy is sleeping, Jeff is sleeping and so is Mathias. The only two awake are Eric and Amy and they’re talking about their situation and Amy cries, softly, but she cries.
The plants however, being weird as fuck, mimic her crying and then make it sound like… moaning?? So Stacy wakes up and she begins accusing Eric of banging Amy, basically a fight ensues, just verbal and Stacy just seems completely cray-cray.
in all honesty, it might not have been the plants doing anything, it could honestly be that Stacy is really just losing it from the situation and just misinterpreted Amy’s cries?
During this fight, the vines are like “Yo, they’re not looking, let’s grab Mathias and eat him or something.”
But they take notice and try to save him but fail.
Next morning, Stacy starts to feel something inside her, which SURPRISE, there are indeed vines inside her, which could be why she’s been acting crazy, besides because of their very stressful situation. They cut the vine out of her but she’s still convinced that they’re inside her, later on, after everyone is taking a nap or something, Stacy comes out and she hears the flowers mimicking her cries about how the vines are still inside her, so she decides to grab the knife and chop away at herself.
The crew gets out to witness Stacy all messed up, when they try to stop her she slashes away at Jeff’s hand but ends up stabbing Eric right in the heart, he falls to the ground and the vines begin to try and take him, Stacy cries as she realizes what she’s done and begs Jeff and Amy to let her go because she wants to die. They agree and let her go.
Jeff begins to come up with a plan for Amy to escape because now he feels hopeless, I guess, and wants Amy to live.
He pretends that Amy is dead and carries her down the temple, covered in the blood of I assume Stacy.
Jeff arrives at the bottom and lays Amy softly on the ground, the Maya are clueless about this and focus their attention on Jeff, they follow Jeff as he leads them away from Amy.
Jeff begins to talk about his fallen friends, he talks about Amy, crying about what has happened to everyone, he gets closer and he says that his girlfriend has a name and deserves to be known to which he shouts “her name is AMY!!” and that’s Amy’s cue to gtfo.
Jeff is shot down and after they notice Amy is gone they start to chase after her.
Amy is speedy and reaches Mathias’ brother’s jeep and drives it away (I forgot how she got the keys, I think they found it in the tent.)
Anyway, she makes it out because those dudes didn’t bring their horses so boom.
But the movie ends with “The Greeks” approaching the temple.
So now we go with picking it apart and analyzing it.
But… if I’m being honest, I have NOTHING bad to say about this movie?? I honestly thought it was great. It was the first movie I’ve watched in awhile where the whole thing was just satisfactory to me. The death of the group sucked and I was hoping more scenes would have taken place INSIDE the ruins, but I was still SUPER happy with the whole thing.
So instead, I’m going to analyze it I guess? Also, if you’ve seen this movie, please feel free to tell me your thoughts on it and what you like/didn’t like.
Starting at the point where the group of friends are trying to get a taxi to take them to the ruins:
I think the taxi driver’s refusal to take them to the path until he was offered more money should have been a red flag. Normally if someone is reluctant to do something it’s because it’s bad news and you gotta make it worth their time and energy.
When they spotted the vehicles that were a little run down, that should have also been another red flag. If a group of archaeologists went to a ruin, wouldn’t at least a few stay back and make camp to keep watch? Or if they didn’t have enough people to stay back, wouldn’t they at least leave the ruins and check on their vehicles or something? But here is where I could be wrong, if I’m being honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the start of the movie because the conversation can get boring, so it could have actually been that the only reason Mathias was going to the ruins was to actually check up on his brother because he hadn’t heard anything from him, so… seeing the vehicles a little messy might not have been that much of a surprise??
The two kids near the path: I believe the kids served as scouts, if they saw people approaching the pathway to the ruins they would go back to the Mayan Leader and inform him about it.
The Mayan Leader’s arrival: I really do believe he had no intention of killing them, instead I think he was trying to question them to know if they stepped on the vines, however, because of the language barrier, they got nowhere, another issue is that I think the Mayan Leader as well as the Maya people were actually speaking the Mayan language and not just “Spanish” and that’s why they got nowhere.
How the vines affect people and why the Mayan Leader refused to let them go: I believe the vines understand how to lure and manipulate people, I also believe they can only really affect those with wounds or those who they sense are dying. Let me explain: The only two people severely affected by the vines were Stacy and Mathias. Mathias fell and broke his back, without proper medical care a broken back can kill you and Stacy got a deep cut when she fell. Those are the only two characters affected by the vines. Other than that, the vines just mess with you by copying sounds like a damn parrot. But the vines are just 10x better at it. To follow up, the only one that had vines growing inside them was Stacy, why and how? They entered her wound and either Eric didn’t pull it all out, such as, a vine broke and got stuck in there or it can plant itself inside wounds, after this, she really kind of started going batshit crazy, accusing her boyfriend of cheating on her, starting fights and even went to the point of cutting herself open to remove all the vines and when stopped she slashed Jeff and murdered Eric, her own boyfriend.
Of course, it could have been a situation where the plants were really just trying to pick off the weakest links first? So, who knows. But something that further makes me believe this theory is Jeff, Jeff is very sane and calm, also, he’s a medicine student, he’s not a specialist in plants, but I think he’s been the only one to really observe and take in the situation and understand what’s up throughout this whole movie. That’s why I think after his hand got slashed by Stacy, he knew it was game over for him and that’s why he came up with the plan to make sure that at least Amy got away and that’s why he was okay with dying too, because he knew he was going to die from the plants eventually.
So, of course, because of these dangerous plants that only seem to grow in this ruin, the Mayan Leader would not let people leave, basically a “quarantine” to make sure the vines stay in one place, because, let’s be honest, vines like that would easily dominate the world. No doubt about it. They know how to manipulate people and they work VERY fast.
Overall: I definitely think this movie is worth a watch at least once. I really enjoyed it. I wouldn’t watch it again on my own but if I was having a movie night with friends and none of them had seen it, I’d definitely vote for it.
Anyway, any horror movie you've seen that's similar to this? Any horror movie you'd like to recommend to me? Which if you do, I refuse to watch anything that has explicit imagery of sexual assault and animal murder. Off-screen and mentions are ok but explicit images are a NO.
ANYWAY, I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!
damehelsing at 12:00AM, Oct. 10, 2021
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