The Ruins

Direction: Carter Smith (2008)
Starring: Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore, Laura Ramsey
Find it: IMDB

"Four Americans on vacation don't just disappear." How sweetly naive. Here in the movies, you rarely do anything but. Four Americans plus a German and a Greek are holidaying in Mexico. On their last day, they decide to leave the resort and visit the ruins of a remote Mayan temple. But once the kids reach the spot, they're surrounded by angry locals who kill one of their number and force the rest to climb the pyramid. They're left there until they either die of thirst of die of plants. The latter being a more likely prospect than you might think.

But first, Mathias (Joe Anderson) falls down a hole and breaks his back. From inside the temple, they hear a mobile phone ringing. Or at least that's what they think it is. It's actually the plants making mobile phone noises. I'd like to see a plant copy my ringtone. It's the Star Trek: Original Series overture. As the remaining youngsters panic about Mathias's shattered spine, they find themselves unprepared for the attack of some really nasty plants. Even worse than stinging nettles.

As the stupid tourists cut, bash, bludgeon and stab their own various body parts, they begin to notice vines moving around beneath their skin. Mathias's legs become completely overrun with flowers, like a dead old grandmother's unattended garden. They are pretty flowers though. Red, a bit like roses. Stacy (Ramsey) starts to lose her mind. Doctor Jeff (Tucker) insists that they need to do something horrible to save Mathias's legs. Amy (Malone) is really annoying.

The Ruins is far better than one might expect a movie about flowers to be. It's certainly a lot gorier and crueler than I'd anticipated. The Ruins is grim character-driven horror. It'll certainly make you look twice at those dastardly dandelions sitting at the side of the road.


  1. Love The Ruins. Love the review. Love scream queens for dum dums.

  2. Thank you! It really is a great film. Cheers!