‘The Ruins’ offers clich’eacute;d horror mixed with bloody gore

Emerson Muzada

Deep within a jungle, tall trees shade the vast green lands and exotic animals inhabit this strange and mysterious jungle, where few dare to venture, lays a hidden trail to an ancient temple that belonged to the Mayan’s ancient civilization. Cursed and covered in vines and its victim’s remains, outsiders have entered “The Ruins.”

Based on the novel by American author Scott Smith, “The Ruins” is directed by Carter Smith and produced by comedian Ben Stiller, Red Hour Films and Spyglass Entertainment Holdings. The movie stars Jonathon Tucker, who plays Jeff, an aspiring doctor who is expecting to go to medical school, Jena Malone as Amy who is Jeff’s girlfriend, John Ashmore who plays Eric and Stacy played by Laura Ramsey. Viewers may recognize John Ashmore, who played Iceman in the popular Marvel Comic’s thriller X-Men.

While vacationing in Cancun, two couples find themselves enjoying the sandy white beaches and glistening blue waters while on their spring break. Nearing the end of their vacation, the group meets Mathias, a German tourist played by Joe Anderson.

Mathias invites the group to explore the ancient temple where his brother and colleagues have been for the last week. The two couples agree to adventure to the ruins on their last day of spring break before heading back home.

Traveling far away from civilization to reach the ancient Mayan temple, the group Mathias and Dimitri, a Greek guide who accompanies Mathias, finally find the extravagant temple hidden deep in the jungle. Inviting and captivating in plain sight, the curious tourists find themselves trapped atop the temple for days as they struggle to survive the cursed temple and the villagers who camp below the temple to make certain the tourists don’t escape.

Jeff, played by Jonathon Tucker, is the competent medical student who assumes the responsibility of leader of the group as they cope with the fear of never returning back to America. Jonathon Tucker, who has played some roles on CSI and Law ‘ Order, does a good job of playing the role as a confident and optimistic medical student who continues to encourage the others of their survival.

The performances by Amy and Stacy will keep audiences quivering with their constant screams and heightened sense of fear and malice.

The special effects and visuals of the bloody scenes are gut wrenching and disgusting. The lifelike visuals will invoke audiences to turn away because of its graphic content. The cinematography does a good job of providing the necessary close ups of the girls’ faces when writhing in fear and despair. The cinematography is very clear and focused, especially during the intense action scenes when the camera angles work very well.

“The Ruins” is not your typical horror movie, although it did contain the usual elements of horror movies, like mysterious and demonic spirituals, beautiful women who are victimized, bloody decapitations and death.

“The Ruins” was not an appealing movie. I must warn moviegoers who are easily susceptible to vomiting at the sight of blood and gory illustrations to consider not watching “The Ruins”.

The movie focused a lot of its appeal on its graphic content rather than its storyline. The element of scaring the viewers was present, however, the suspense of the movie kept me wondering if there was something missing to the story.

Horror movie fanatics may argue otherwise, but “The Ruins” was a clich’eacute;d horror movie that lacked creativity. The predictability of the story is easily perceived, and aside from the actors and actresses who did a decent job of displaying their abilities to panic and scream bloody hell, “The Ruins” will leave audiences confused and disappointed.