Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Ruins (2008)

If you're a horror movie fan, you can skip this review: just go get yourself a copy of The Ruins and have a good time.

For the rest of you, I'll try to convince you it's worth your time to see.

Four American tourists befriend a young German man while on holiday in Mexico.  He tells them that the next morning he is travelling to a remote Mayan ruin to collect his brother, who previously went there with a lady archaeologist.  With varying degrees of enthusiasm, the foursome agree to accompany him to see the ruin.

Given that this is a horror movie, you can be sure that the trip doesn't end up being an especially jolly one, but I'll refrain from going into any more details about the plot, because I think that the film does a very good job of slowly unfurling the true threat, and to just state the details baldly would not do it justice.

I will, however, take some time to praise the film-makers.  They've done very good work here.  This is by no means a "big budget" film (it cost about $8 million) but it's technically very proficient and you never feel like you're watching a cheap movie.  In particular the casting team has done a great job.  All the core group of actors deliver solid performances, and it is no surprise to see that they've generally gone on to bigger (though not necessarily better) things.

About the only complaint I might make of this film is that once it hits the end game, it feels like it rushes through things just a little.  But when the worst thing you can say about a movie is "gee, I wish they'd given the last couple of scenes a few minutes more to breathe, so they were as effective as the earlier parts" ... well, it speaks pretty well of the film as a whole, I think.

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