DVD: The Ruins (2008) Colin D Miller March 3, 2011 DVDs & Rentals 1920 Laura Ramsey as Stacy THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS There’s no point in beating around the bush, The Ruins is quite simply mental. A typical cliched survival horror story in paradise lost. I heard about this film whilst I was in Mexico back in 2008 after I read a review. It’s probably a good job I didn’t see it while I was out there, as it would have probably put me off going to such beautiful places such as Chichen Itza and Coba. Knowing this, I made a mental note of it and decided to check it out at a later date. Two years later, I’ve finally got round to it. The plot starts off with four young Americans enjoying the pool on their holiday. Bored with the usual routine and suffering from a lack of interest of the typical tourist spots, they take up the offer of checking out a Mayan temple located “off the beaten track”. When they arrive, things take a turn for the bizarre as they are greeted by a bunch of gun wielding Mayans. After a rather dramatic stand off, they are forced to climb to the top of the temple or face certain death at the hands of the apparently aggressive natives. Needless to say injuries happen, friendships are tested and tough decisions have to be made. Oh, there’s also the small disturbing matter that the Mayan ruin our heroes are trapped on, is covered in aggressive man eating vines. It’s a completely bonkers concept that in any other film probably wouldn’t work – however, with The Ruins, the filmmakers have balanced the level of suspense and horror perfectly. The vines are creepy, slow moving and to a certain extent cunning. It isn’t until well into the second half that we are let on to the full extent of horror that surrounds our heroes. And when the audience is exposed to it, the film makers make no secret of how gruesome the story is. With the likes of Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore, Joe Anderson and Laura Ramsey, the cast isn’t exactly a-list, but they a capable enough to carry the film. Joe Anderson as Mathias The much underrated Brit actor Joe Anderson puts in a particularly good performance at Mathias, the German leader of the expedition. Overall, The Ruins is a bit of a stupid film. With the man eating plants, a certain level of suspension of disbelief is required. But that’s not to say it’s no good, not at all. Ridiculous, gruesome and most likely to put you off gardening for a few weeks, the only thing it is missing to make it a full blown horticultural nightmare is Alan Titchmarsh.