Movie Review: Ruins
I love me some horror movies, so I’ve been catching up with some of 2008′s horror releases now that they’re out on video. I wouldn’t necessarily call Ruins one of my favorites, but it has some interesting and original elements that save it from being a bad movie experience like, say, the Saw films. The film centers around a group of nubile young Spring Breakers, including Jena Malone and some no-name actors, some of which are fairly decent. They get roped into going to an archaeological site by a suspicious European tourist, which makes you think it’s going to turn into some kind of Hostel situation, but that never turns into anything. So much for teaching kids a lesson about going on out-of-town trips with strangers.
Anyway, they get to some ancient Mayan pyramid, which is funny because the movie was filmed in Queensland, Australia. But pretty much as soon as they get there, it becomes clear that the enemy is the very flora around them. An evil Little Shop of Horrors-esque plant has become accustomed to the blood from sacrifices on the pyramid or some shit, so it is now killer, and it has some other cool powers too. It can mimic sounds and sneak under your skin in a way that kind of evokes Morgellons disease. Or maybe it’s supposed to be a metaphor for the environment. I don’t know, and I don’t care.
The weird thing is that nobody bothers to fight back against the plant. Nearly the whole film takes place on top of this boring pyramid, because the indigenous peoples of the area are quarantining our heroes, and that becomes not only boring but frustrating. I kept yelling at the TV, “Burn that motherfucker down! Just gasoline and torch that shit! Get some pesticide! Plants aren’t that tough!” and so forth. But to no avail.
Plus, I couldn’t help but notice that the evil plant looks an awful lot like sweet sweet Mary Jane. To which I say, screw you, puritan filmmakers! Did the cotton industry sponsor this film?
It would be funny if there was a version where someone had that iPhone app that identifies plants when you snap a picture of them. They’d take a picture and it’d be like “This is a quasi-supernatural evil plant that will make it sound like your best friend is having sex with your boyfriend to divide you for no particular reason.” Then they’d know to hightail it out of there.