When a group of tight-knit college friends visit the site of an undisturbed Mayan ruin, they stumble into an ancient trap. An unspoken evil waiting to drag its victims into an endless nightmare. As fear and paranoia eat away at their sanity, their only chance at escape is to commit the unthinkable.
It’s a weird phenomenon that The Ruins didn’t get a theater release in Singapore. The horror genre which is generally lapped up by the zombified Singapore viewers who can’t get enough of fright fest, regardless whether the ensemble is made up of unknown actors or what’s the indication from early reviews. Ironically The Ruins is one of those good horror flicks that made sense in the end and yet it’s getting the straight to video (vcd) treatment (not even the STD (Straight to DVD) treatment (as my webmaster likes to call it) in Singapore).
For most parts of The Ruins, it was played out as one of those dumb American kids’ road trip meets torture porn scenario (Hostel anyone?). Almost every actions (or mistakes) they made felt down right stupid. From the chaotic incident at the discovery of the Mayan’s Ruin to continuous insistence of searching for their “missing” adventure mates and even their little unnecessary operation at the worst situation possible, it just felt that these are incredible dumb people who made really stupid decisions (even in the chaotic situation that they were in).
But then, something about The Ruins made me stay on with the story. Ironically it’s the cause of the horror for this movie which didn’t appeal very well with some viewers. (Not giving away too much spoilish information about this but) The cause of all the terror in The Ruins was one of the most far fetch ideas that used in a horror setting and yet it’s quite effectively done that felt rather organic and reasonable.
Some might argue that it’s impossible and silly to even think that it’s possible. Personally, I felt that there are far too many creatures that are undiscovered and the premise of The Ruins gave a good reason why it was not made known to the public. Their method of devouring unsuspecting victims were chillingly possible (as again albeit far fetch but scarily possible) and unrelenting.
It helped build that atmospheric fear of doom, akin to the one like “Open Water” where you are stuck helplessly in a situation waiting for death. It even brought up situations where you wonder how to pacific one of your group mates when you and the rest knew that mate is already doomed. Paranoia, unease and chaos set in and the various characters’ silly action became rather relatable.
Pardon this vague review as I am trying to not to review too much spoilers about The Ruins’s terror. Part of the fun watching The Ruins would be the discovery of the cause on your own. I can’t help but think that Emperors and Pharaohs would most definitely like to use some of these horrifying “mechanism” to protect their tombs from grave robbers with it’s long lasting, easily camouflageable and really natural structure.
Personally, The Ruins was bleak, gory and an edgy horror that made sense in the end. A pity that it didn’t get to make it’s debut in the cinema while other lousy formulaic horror trash got to.
As a VCD quality, there are nothing much to note for the Audio aspect but the Visual had the most distracting pixilation. Quite difficult to enjoy the actions sequences and gore in it’s whole glory when there are so much squares pixels flooding those important moments.
Review by Richard Lim Jr