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The Ruins

3.0 3
Director: Carter B. Smith

Cast: Carter B. Smith, Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, Shawn Ashmore


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Based on the novel by A Simple Plan author Scott Smith, director Carter B. Smith's Yucatan-set thriller follows four American tourists as they unwisely venture off the beaten path while vacationing in Cancun. When a friendly German tourist implores the Americans to help search the jungle for his missing brother, the group


Based on the novel by A Simple Plan author Scott Smith, director Carter B. Smith's Yucatan-set thriller follows four American tourists as they unwisely venture off the beaten path while vacationing in Cancun. When a friendly German tourist implores the Americans to help search the jungle for his missing brother, the group becomes hopelessly trapped in a nightmare scenario that seems too strange to be true. Jonathan Tucker, Laura Ramsey, Jena Malone, and Shawn Ashmore star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
A satisfyingly gruesome but brutally abbreviated version of author Scott B. Smith's epic downer of a novel, the feature-film version of The Ruins feels like someone blasted through the book with a highlighter in order to assemble the screenplay, and in their haste just happened to overlook some of the most interesting and disturbing details therein. Of course, a quick glance at the running time will be enough to let any fan of the 528-page novel know that the filmmakers aren't exactly striving to craft a direct translation of the written word -- despite the fact that the same man responsible for the novel penned the screenplay -- so those who are prepared for something a bit different from the onset may ultimately end up enjoying the film despite its clearly botched, over-test-marketed ending. The setup here is as simple as it is in the book: a group of American twentysomethings are vacationing in Mexico when they meet up with a German tourist whose brother has gone missing after running off to explore an uncharted Mayan temple. Since it's the final day of their vacation, the Americans agree to join their new friend on what was supposed to be a simple day trip to the nearby temple. Upon arriving at their destination, however, it quickly becomes apparent that forces beyond their comprehension are at work, and that any hope for escape becomes less likely with each passing minute. The Ruins flows well, features solid performances by all the leads, delivers the goods in terms of gore, and successfully maintains the building dread and dying hope that made the original novel such a success -- especially in the early scenes when the group first arrives at their destination. Darius Khondji's handsome photography serves well to emphasize the sun-soaked menace of the otherwise scenic Mexican landscape, and the special effects used to create the film's primary terror are effective both when the threat is still external, and after it ultimately becomes internal. As with any film adaptation of a popular novel, there will be fans who lament the more intriguing aspects of the story that didn't make it into the movie. Many of these arguments will be justified; perhaps in a different era the studio producing the film would have been willing to take a few more risks and see this downbeat tale through to its logical conclusion (as the book did). Given the detailed setup, the revised ending just doesn't make any sense. For the purists, this Cliffs Notes version of the novel delivers enough satisfying thrills and chills to fill a solid 90 minutes; for everyone else, it'll just have to make do until some brave soul attempts a more faithful -- and utterly depressing -- miniseries somewhere down the line.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Dreamworks Video
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Never-before-seen alternate ending; 3 Deleted Scenes; Behind-the-scenes featurettes; Commentary by Director Carter Smith and Editor Jeff Betancourt

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jonathan Tucker Jeff
Jena Malone Amy
Shawn Ashmore Eric
Laura Ramsey Stacy
Joe Anderson Mathias
Dimitri Baveas Dimitri
Sergio Calderon Lead Mayan

Technical Credits
Carter B. Smith Director
Gary Barber Executive Producer
Chris Bender Producer
Jeff Betancourt Editor
Roger Birnbaum Executive Producer
Paul "Salty" Brincat Sound/Sound Designer
Denise Chamian Casting
Dorian Cheah Sound/Sound Designer
Stuart Cornfeld Producer
Jamie Crooks Asst. Director
Brian Edmonds Art Director
Lizzy Gardiner Costumes/Costume Designer
Trish Hoffmann Executive Producer
Trish Hofmann Executive Producer
Darius Khondji Cinematographer
Jeremy Kramer Producer
Grant Major Production Designer
Graeme Revell Score Composer
Scott B. Smith Screenwriter
Ben Stiller Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Ruins
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11


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The Ruins 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suesie More than 1 year ago
This was by far the most ridiculous movie i have ever wasted or should i say "ruined" my time with.... ok i dont care i am going to spoil this movie to spare those of the horror of bad film making... the movie starts promising... 4 friends getting drunk and some sun on Mexico... they meet some german dude that tells him about some Myan temple nonsence... so they all go out there, now once they get there these trib ppl about 2 foot 2 with guns start to terrorize them to climb up this temple covered in ivy one guy gets shot and they rest are all "scared"... now this is where the movie become a waste of space and air... they have cell phones but no service.. go figure... they all start flipping out hearing a phone inside the temple thing... the german guy falls breaks his back, now aparently Doogie Howser, M.D. was there cause one of the guys begins to cut off his leags and build a splint and fry the ends of his legs bla bla bla... now the "cell phone" sound turns out to the the ivy plants, yep the plants, they mimic sounds they hear and then eat you.... yes eat you... meanwhile the village dwarfs are making sure they dont come down so they dont "spread" the ivy... one girl escapes the rest all die, either by stabbing themselves or just being plain retarted... by the end of the movie i was thinking to myself the happening did this and now this cap movie... killer plants... are you serious... and the special effects look plain silly...pls ppl dont watse your time on this planty crap... watch water boil, it would be more interesting.