QuoteReplyTopic: Will It RUIN Box Office Records?? Posted: April 01 2008 at 1:15am
BUZZ on THIS STEPHEN-KING-ENDORSED / BEN-STILLER-PRODUCED LITTLE HORROR FLICK SUGGESTS THE RUINSCOULD BE a MONSTER BOX OFFICE HIT...OR JUST ANOTHER PIECE of sh*t from HOLLYWOOD's HORROR-MOVIE-MEAT-GRINDER...
SINCE IT WASN'T SCREENED BEFORE IT OPENED, WE'LL GO with the LIKELIER SCENARIO: IT'LL BE a BLAST to WATCH, BUT LARGELY BECAUSE the AUDIENCE WILL BE LAUGHING -- and NOT ALWAZE in the RIGHT PLACES.
GOOD, BAD or INDIFFERENT, IT'LL STILL PROBABLY BE ONE of the MORE ENTERTAINING MOVIES of 2008 ...WHICH, THESE DAZE, ISN'T REALLY SAYING BERRY MUCH...
"Whatever it is, I hope it brought some graham crackers for our 'Smores!!"
Since "Ben Stiller" isn't all that uncommon a name, I thought I'd check at IMDb if this film's producer is the Ben Stiller. Sure enough, it's the same Stiller who was a 2004 Worst Actor nominee for 5 titles, including "Dodgeball" and "Starsky & Hutch" -- both of which he also produced. So in my mind, the odds of "Ruins" being a clunker just got a little higher...
If Herschell Gordon Lewis directed
“Little Shop of Horrors,” “The Ruins” would likely be the end product.
A skin-crawlingly diabolical horror film, “The Ruins” is a sobering
reminder that the screen can still generate anxiety on a massive scale
when it meets material that takes few prisoners.
On vacation in Mexico, four college
students (Shawn Ashmore, Jena Malone, Laura Ramsey, and Jonathan
Tucker) meet a German tourist (Joe Anderson) looking to break away from
the grind of perfect beaches and bottomless margaritas. Their adventure
destination is a lost Mayan temple located in the middle of a dense
jungle, and once arrived, the group tragically learns they are not
welcome by the vicious locals. Trapped on top of the temple, the
students quickly grasp they are not alone, finding the flowers and
vines that surround them have a taste for blood. Toying with the group,
the flora waits patiently as injury and madness soon settles in,
leaving the hapless youngsters with no means of escape.
Adapted by Scott Smith (“A Simple
Plan”) from his own novel, “The Ruins” is governed by one rule:
razor-sharp simplicity. There’s no undercurrent of absurd social
commentary, no extraneous subplots vying for screentime; “The Ruins” is
a straightforward exercise in endurance and disturbing imagery. Not
having personally experienced the novel, I didn’t sense any gaps in the
storytelling, which is a credit to Smith, who overhauled his original
plot to streamline the agony. It’s a triumphant piece of scripting,
securing the tension to the front burners at all times and staging
sequences not for their jump-scare potential, but for more
gut-wrenching results that will surely leave weak-kneed audience
members sprinting for the exits.
Director Carter Smith (“Bugcrush”) is
game to go where Smith leads and he rarely breaks the film’s constant
haze of dread. “Ruins” dabbles in psychological torment, yet the heart
of this beast lies in old-fashioned displays of gore, with the
characters digging around in their own bodies with knives in a pathetic
attempt to keep the vines literally out of their system. Certainly this
isn’t high art, but “Ruins” is near-perfect at manipulating its
audience, emphasizing physical threat and consequence, with a profound
admiration for armrest-squeezing bodily harm on a level few recent
horror productions would dare explore.
The acting by the young leads is
better than expected, especially the work committed to the screen here
by Laura Ramsey, who is the only member of the cast to reach the next
level of despair as the vines attempt to find a warm home under her
skin. Smith wisely keeps the actorly hysterics to a minimum, preferring
visual communication of suffering that’s incredibly more effective
riling up the audience than bad actors allowed free reign to act badly.
It could be the steady diet of
numbskull horror offerings lately, but I was with “Ruins” for the
entire ride, delighting in the merciless direction and fantastical
botanical twists with eyes wide open. It’s one of those
strap-in-and-ride-it-out experiences that are all too rare; forgoing
elaborate strands of exposition to settle on more direct lunges of
terror. It’s a marvelous nightmare machine.
So, from the looks of things, this might be an entertaining movie. I
may have to retract it from my list of potential crap films, along with
How She Move.
There aren't really enough reviews up at RT so far to spot a trend as of this writing, but this actually may not even be the worst horror flick of the week, bad as it may be. There is another candidate called Grizzly Park which is being described as something the SciFi channel would probably reject.
Geez, Hollywood is putting out so much garbage these days we can't even hope to keep up.
Incidentally, moviewizguy, I'd be quick to point out that the number of decent/good/great books that have translated into absolutely awful movies is almost endless. In my entire experience as an avid reader/moviegoer, I can only think of one movie that was actually better than the book from which it was adapted. That was Field of Dreams. It was, of course, an outstanding movie adapted from a book that wasn't all that great, called Shoeless Joe.
Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
I just finished the movie (wow. What a fast two days of reading and one day of watching): 9/10:
A group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.
Yes, I have read the book and it was one of the few books that I read that were actually really good. Amazingly, this movie have pulled it off: It's better than the book. Probably because the book is nothing like the movie, yet the movie has some similar elements and gist of the book. Judging from the trailer, you might think it's another dumb, teen horror flick. This is where you're wrong. In fact, this movie is much more of a psychological thriller than a horror flick.
For those who have read the book, you may feel upset that they changed it up so much, but I think otherwise: The movie changed up some flaws that were in the book: The characters are much smarter, things that I wanted to happen in the book, like the characters doing something differently, happened in the movie, and there's an alternate ending, which I think is so much better than the book so it really doesn't matter if you read the book first and then saw the movie, or vice versa.
But, of course, this is my opinion. Unlike many horror movies, even as an R rated horror movie, The Ruins relies much more on tension and suspense than blood and gore, even though there is blood and gore in the film. This is one of the best movies created this year and one of the best horror film ever.
However, I do think the characters in the book are much more sympathetic and lovable than in the movie. The movie is like 85 minutes and the book is 510 pages. Of course, the book added much more character development and other stuff than the fast paced movie. Still, I don't mind, because I still felt the characters were sympathetic and lovable. They're given great dialog and much more than 2-dimensional characters you see in most horror movies these days.
Whether you have read the book or not, you'll be surprised at what is to happen in the movie. Some might call the ending a cop out, after what just happened, but I liked that ending much better than the one from the book. This messes with your head. This movie will not satisfy everyone, but it surely did for me. I just found the movie unfairly picked on because people, I assume, expected violence, gore, and nudity. The movie is better than that and it is.
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