'The Ruins - Unrated'
(Shawn Ashmore, Jena Malone, et al / DVD / R / 2008 / DreamWorks SKG)p>
Overview: Whether you consider plants a source of terror or not will ultimately determine how you feel about the grisly horror movie The Ruins, but director Carter Smith and his cast and crew certainly give their all in bringing the chills of Scott Smith's novel to the big screen. Jena Malone (Saved) and Shawn Ashmore (the X-Men franchise) are the name actors in a pair of American couples down Mexico way who are ambushed by hostile Mayans and forced to the top of an ancient temple, where a monstrous and diabolically clever entity awaits them.
DVD Verdict: At this point you would think that every movie lover should know that whether or not a movie is gonna be good should not be determined solely by the previews. I must admit that I fell for that once again because the previews really make this movie look interesting!
Now, truth be told, I can't start popping off about the comparisons between the movie and the book like most people tend to do because I never read the book. However, I do know what I like, and what I don't like, and this movie I didn't like friends, sorry!
Not to take away from someone else that said it before me, but my only gripe was that nothing pertaining to the weeds got explained which I find frustrating in a movie. I think it cheats the viewers when they have to walk away from a movie with tons of unanswered questions. Like, what are these vines? Where did they come from? And why are they only confined to the Mayan temple?
I guess the blood and gore was suppose to distract us from these little minute tidbits. I won't bother to go over the plot because as we all know a group of Americans are on vacation in Mexico and they head off to explore an ancient pyramid engulfed with a man-eating plant species. I know it sounds far-fetched as hell, but it could've worked. The ending was also awful. I mean, are we supposed to guess whether or not the only survivor made it off the pyramid infested with these vines only to spread it to the outside world?
I don't know. But I recommend that you rent this DVD with some friends and spread the monetary output accordingly. However, not to be totally unfair, I've seen worse so it's worth watching at least once when you have absolutely nothing else to do! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Never-Before-Seen Alternate Ending
Commentary with director Carter Smith and editor Jeff Betancourt
The Making of THE RUINS—the cast and crew provide insight into the transformation of Scott Smith’s novel to the screen
Creeping Death—reveals the process of bringing the deadly vines to life and the practical special effects that were used
Building THE RUINS—provides a detailed look at the set and location for the film
Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Carter Smith and editor
Jeff Betancourt: Rain, Celebration, Going Over The Escape Plan, Theatrical Ending, and a Theatrical Trailer.