Almost all of the new horror films of '08 are horrendous. It's nice to see one that is "so bad it's alright." The Ruins is exactly that. After a bunch of stupid kids with perfectly sculpted abs get trapped on a ruin of a pyramid, they realize they are quarantined by the locals due to a menacing force. This force being a surprising sentient being, capable of modern actions and commands.
The entire story feels like a sequel to the Goosebump's classic Stay Out of the Basement. These stupid kids fit into a perfect vegetarian trap of death. These third-world country people are portrayed as completely stupid; only being able to handle basic thoughts and speaking a dead language. The theme of isolation is similar to [Rec].
The movie has those characters that you love to hate. The stupid jocks that love sex and alcohol. The same ones that make stupid choices that lead to stupid affects, but later in the film, they become withstand-able. As soon as these naive children become victim to something more sinister, their survival instincts begin to kick in. These characters started out stale but i guess to a certain effect. You were supposed to hate them.
If you've ever watched a Friday the 13th film and got pissed off when they always trip or commit random gratuitous acts of stupidity, then this is not your film. These characters will jump 3 feet and break their knees. The goofs are many in this film. The ropes getting mysteriously longer is just an example. This film is a "How to not survive!" reference masterpiece.
The ending of the film differs from the one in the original novel. This change is due to a "Hollywood" bastard ending. Same with The Descent, American film makers downplay our intelligence by dumbing down all our endings with the same ending that shows a never-ending loop of violence. While not sticking with jump-out moments, It would rather attempt to gross you out with flesh-carving madness synced with the the loss of the minds of college graduates.
You might hear that this is scary. No, It isn't, but damn if it doesn't have some effective scenes. They come once in a while, with some hilarious scenes. This could be called a "so bad it's okay" film. The characters are flat and are created from the leftover mold's of Dawson's Creek. I don't regret seeing this film. Many people walked out on this film. It's not perfect, but don't expect an amazing, or even faithful book adaptation. This, just like Hostel, is just shitty "Feel unsafe in any country other than America" propaganda.
The main villain in the film, which i will leave unknown for a surprise, has many amazing effects, which leads to an almost shocking experience. These quirks to the "things" leave many moments almost scary. While being a Hollywood film, It isn't horribly bad. If you have a couple beers in you, you might even like it. The Ruins is an moderately exceptional Hollywood fare featuring the stupid foreigners dying first. What a change.