April 6, 2008

The Ruins (2008)

Think of the most disappointing Stephen King adaptation that you have ever seen and then multiply it by ten to get an idea of just how bad this version of Scott Smith's novel actually is. Scott Smith even wrote the screenplay so, to be fair, he's only got himself to blame over the fans' reaction to this.

Judged on its own merits, rather than in comparison to the book, it just comes off as yet another "tourists going where they shouldn't" movie with predictable consequences. The only originality here was in what exactly is going to kill the tourists this time. I won't spoil it for you, the CGI will do that on its own, but just think of a certain Amicus film or "Little Shop of Horrors" and you'll be able to work it out.

Characterisation was superficial and the acting was average at best. You won't care about any of them all that much and therein lies the biggest flaw. To actually get involved in the horror there should at least be some kind of empathy with the protagonists. Unless you are a rich twenty-something college student who is thinking of taking a holiday in some out of the way part of Mexico then you probably won't identify very much with anybody in this.

Where the film does excel is in the gore scenes. There are some extremely nasty moments and everybody ends up extremely bloodied by the end of it all. Some of the more gruesome moments are ruined by such bad acting that you will probably end up laughing rather than being horrified though.

It isn't scary and, although it tries desperately to be exciting in places, it does tend to plod. I give it 4 out of 10. You can enjoy this film if you don't think too hard but it's certainly nothing to go out of your way for.

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