"The Ruins" a tense and squirmy nightmare
The Ruins (2008)
91 min., rated R.
"The Ruins" is only stock in its advertising and initial setup that of "Wolf Creek" and "Turistas," where American travelers become the hunted in a foreign land. Otherwise, don't look for any sightseeing hot spots in this intense, squirm-inducing horror flick. Off the top, a woman cowering in a dark hole, screaming bloody murder for help, sets the bleak tone for the nightmare that ensues. Lounging around the hotel pool with margaritas, four twenty-somethings—best friends Amy (Jena Malone) and Stacy (Laura Ramsey) and their boyfriends, Jeff (Jonathan Tucker) and Eric (Shawn Ashmore)—are on an exotic vacation in Mexico. They meet a friendly German traveler named Mathias (Joe Anderson) and idiotically decide to head out to an archeological site in the jungle where his brother has gone missing. The site is, naturally, off the map, which should be a tip-off to these American kids, but nope. Once they step foot in the area around an ancient Mayan temple, they are cornered by tribesmen with arrows and guns who refuse to let them leave. Worse, they must stay atop the ruins with no-service cell phones, a dwindling supply of food and water...and some sort of carnivorous vine that attacks and infects the five friends. At least it's not a psychotic psycho knocking them off one by one, right?